September 12, 2022
Carlos Alcaraz became the youngest world number one in history with flashes of brilliance that left onlookers open-mouthed in New York.
It’s hard to fathom how any man can hit these heights at such a tender age.
Alcaraz achieved his glory at 19 years, four months and six days old.
‘I’m lost for words. I just want to keep dreaming,’ he said.
Carlos Alcaraz can keep dreaming all the way to Wimbledon 2023.
Some of the rallies that led to his 6-4, 2-6, 7-6 (7-1), 6-3 victory over Casper Ruud were so staggering that you realised the speed had never been seen before.
Not from Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal or even Novak Djokovic. Their athleticism and shot-making remain extraordinary of course – and will never be forgotten.
For each man to have reached – and in some cases passed – twenty Grand Slam titles is truly amazing. And these totals may never be beaten.
But in Carlos Alcaraz we are talking about a phenomenon.
When Britain’s old Wimbledon star, Tim Henman was asked last night if Alcaraz is even better than the Big Three, he replied: ‘For movement, yes.’
That’s because many a rally that should have been over was revived by Alcaraz with impossible speed and only finished with killer precision.
His stroke-play wasn’t just super-powerful – it was subtle at the net. And once he adapts fully to grass, there could be no stopping him.
His game is actually suited to the English surface.
Carlos Alcaraz will be the hottest attraction at Wimbledon 2023!
And one of the other biggest draws in world tennis, Nick Kyrgios had precited this title triumph at the US Open.
‘Told you,’ Kyrgios tweeted Alcaraz in the aftermath of this stellar night.
Casper Ruud had more than played his part in the entertainment.
In fact, the Norwegian could have won it. Don’t forget, either man in this final could have ended the contest as world number one.
The Norwegian had points to lead by two sets to one. Instead Alcaraz held his nerve and forced a third-set tie-break.
You might have thought he would seek a moment of quiet composure before that pivotal breaker.
Instead, the teenager milked the deafening applause and whipped Flushing Meadows into a frenzy.
Can you imagine Alcaraz doing that on Centre Court at Wimbledon 2023?
The atmosphere at the All England Club is going to be unique as we witness the final battle between the old and new generations in tennis.
Back in New York, Alcaraz rode the adrenalin wave and pulverised his opponent when it really mattered.
He never looked back as Ruud realised he couldn’t match the firepower, physicality or subtlety coming from over the net.
And remember, Alcaraz had survived two epic five-setters on the way to the final and was supposed to be exhausted.
‘This isn’t the time to be tired,’ he joked afterwards. Now the world is at his feet. And the scary thing is, he will only get better!
Meanwhile Britain’s Alfie Hewett had also tasted glory at the US Open. The wheelchair tennis icon had defeated arch-rival Shingo Kunieda 7-6 (7-2), 6-1 earlier.
That was his third US Open title, sixth major and sweet revenge for Australia and Wimbledon.
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