The winner of Sunday’s final (10pm CET) not only won his first Grand Slam title, but also replaced defending champion Daniil Medvedev of Russia as the leader in the world rankings.
Alcaraz is the youngest player to reach the US Open finals since 1990 when American Pete Sampras lifted the trophy at the age of 19 years and 28 days. The Spaniard did not notice the 5:15 hour marathon two days ago in the quarter-final against Jannik Sener of South Tyrol – on the contrary: after a narrowly losing first set, Alcaraz really turned around and deserved to reach his first Grand Slam final. .
Alcaraz explained his massive reserves of power: “We are in the semi-finals of a Grand Slam, so we have to give everything, whether it’s for four or five hours.” Tiafoe resisted tears. The 24-year-old said into the stadium microphone, “I feel like I disappointed everyone. I’m going back and I’m going to win this thing. I’m sorry guys!”
Encouraged by former First Lady Michelle Obama at Arthur Ashe Stadium, Tiafoe experienced an inexplicable drop in performance between them. Americans have to wait for their first men’s Grand Slam title since 2003 (Andy Roddick). Tiafoe could at least console himself with his US Open record: He was the first professional in history to finish the tournament with an impeccable tiebreak record of 8:0.
Al-Karaz silences the skeptics
However, the journey continues for Alcaraz: a year ago he had hit the quarter-finals before having to give up due to a leg injury. This came from many unusually long matches. His fitness skeptics are now silent after three wins out of five straight sets. “I’ve played more than five matches and I’m better prepared mentally and physically,” Alcaraz said. He worked hard in the gym and on the field for 12 months. “But I say it’s all (mentally based)”.
Because Alcaraz not only played against Tiafoe on Friday, but also against the majority of the audience. When the American player and runner-up in Vienna last year saved a match point in the fourth set and moved into the fifth with a tiebreak victory, the atmosphere at Arthur Ashe Stadium was boiling. “It was a new game for me in the fifth set and I believed in defeating Francis in the fifth,” Alcaraz remained calm.
Rudd as the first Norwegian in the final
Previously, Rudd used his first point at Arthur Ashe Stadium after exactly three hours of play and was the first Norwegian player to reach the US Open final. “It was another great match. It was probably the biggest match of our career, of course I was nervous. I’m very happy. I already thought in the final in Paris that he could be the only one for me at a Grand Slam. I tried to stay calm but it’s different inside of me,” said the Norwegian. .
“At first we were a little nervous, luckily I won the first set.” How: Christian Rudd, the last 16 at the previous Australian Open, showed his nerve of steel in the 55-shot rally. “At two and four,” he said, “I played amazing.” In the final, Rod is still curious. Alcaraz is 2-0 up head-to-head, including a final victory in Miami last April.
Rudd is in the final for the 14th time, but only in the Grand Slam final for the second time. The nine-time ATP Tour winner celebrated his first show of the year in Paris at the start of June. But at the French Open, the 23-year-old was beaten by the “king of earthen tiles” and Paris record winner Rafael Nadal of Spain 3:6 3:6 0:6.
US Open in New York
(US, $27915,200, hard court)
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