s Carlos Alcaraz collapsed on the blue courtroom of Arthur Ashe Stadium, it felt like the beginning of a brand new period for males’s tennis.
The 19-year-old had turn into the youngest world No1 within the historical past of the boys’s recreation and the youngest US Open champion since Pete Sampras’ personal announcement on the world stage in 1990.
Sampras would go on to win 14 Grand Slam titles. After solely his first, Alcaraz’s coach Juan Carlos Ferrero was already joking a few doable 30 for his cost.
New York has a propensity to behave because the backdrop for teenage stars to emerge. It was right here a 12 months in the past that the Spaniard made the quarter-finals and Emma Raducanu defied all expectations to win the title.
Whereas that shock was seismic, an Alcaraz Grand Slam title was solely ever a matter of when. As a substitute, the dialog surrounding him has been about what number of majors he can win.
Of his personal future on the tennis’ greatest stage, he stated: “Proper now, I’m having fun with the second, I’m having fun with having the trophy in my palms however, in fact, I’m hungry for extra.
“I wish to be within the prime for a lot of, many weeks and I hope a few years. I’m going to work exhausting once more after this week, these wonderful two weeks. I’m going to struggle to have extra of this.”
There was no finish of struggle. In fact, the ultimate appeared simpler than a few of his matches within the lead-up as he beat Casper Ruud 6-4, 2-6, 7-6, 6-3.
No participant had spent extra time on courtroom in a single Grand Slam, Alcaraz clocking up 23 hours and 40 minutes altogether. He had spent in extra of 13 hours on courtroom for his previous three matches, which had been all five-setters and during which he recovered from a match level down in his quarter-final towards Jannik Sinner to in some way discover a method to win.
Inevitably, it drew additional comparisons to his countryman Rafael Nadal: each Grand Slam winners on the age of 19, each with related preventing qualities in addition to being quick fan favourites.
Nadal was among the many first to congratulate him on social media saying he anticipated there “could be many extra” Grand Slam titles. However he has at all times swatted away any comparisons.
His uncle and long-time coach Toni Nadal, nevertheless, stated: “Carlos’ depth and pace is one thing you not often see. His recreation follows the identical path as Rafa – he by no means provides up till the final ball and has that attribute depth.”
Alcaraz had endured a tough build-up to New York. He misplaced within the first spherical of the Canadian Open and was then knocked out on the quarter-final stage of the Cincinnati Masters. He blamed it on not taking part in with a smile, which appears to have omnipresent all through the previous fortnight on the US Open.
As for a maiden Grand Slam title, he first believed it was doable when profitable the Miami Open in April. However after a dip in type in latest weeks, he stated: “I got here right here simply to get pleasure from, to smile on courtroom, to get pleasure from taking part in tennis. If I’ve enjoyable, I noticed my finest stage, my finest tennis.”
For Ruud, it was the second time as a crushed Grand Slam finalist this 12 months having misplaced to Nadal within the French Open. Requested for the key to breaking his majors duck, he joked merely that it was to keep away from a Spaniard within the draw.
However the Norwegian, who would have changed Daniil Medvedev as world No1 had he gained the ultimate graciously stated: “For the time being, Carlos is the very best participant on this planet.”
Ominously for Ruud and his friends, Ferrero stated that Alcaraz, who he likened to spaghetti he was so skinny when he first began working with him as a 15-year-old, was removed from the completed article.
“I feel he’s on 60% of his recreation,” he stated. “He can enhance plenty of issues. He is aware of and I do know that we’ve got to maintain working. As soon as to get to No1, it’s not carried out and also you go. It’s a must to maintain working, he is aware of that.”