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Carlos Alcaraz wins the US Open and becomes world number 1

A year ago, Carlos Alcaraz had already ignited the US Open and when he had to give up in the quarter-finals against Félix Auger-Aliassime, we thought we would soon see the Spaniard again in the last matches. of a Grand Slam tournament. But from there to imagining a progression curve so dazzling that a year later, he would win his first Major and at the same time become the youngest world number 1 in history, there was a step that few wanted to take. .

And yet… At the end of a tournament where he did not have an easy time and where he even had to save a match point against Jannik Sinner in the quarter-finals, Alcaraz showed that he was ready to take over from the great elders. Not only did he conquer the first Major of a career that will certainly count many more, but he also became world number 1. And his move to the top of the world rankings should not be a flash in the pan.

In this final which was not the fireworks expected, the two men were obviously tense at the start of the match. Although he had already played (and lost) a final at Roland-Garros this year, Casper Ruud did not seem more relaxed than his opponent. The two players also had the greatest difficulty in winning their services at the start of the match. But Alcaraz’s systematic aggression on Ruud’s second balls ended up paying off with a quick break (2-1). Although he seemed to be content to manage his return games, as soon as danger appeared the tip of his nose, the Spaniard showed that he had many more options in his game than his opponent. He also closed the set on a shutout.

It was hard to see how Ruud was going to be able to reverse the trend that was emerging, but that was without taking into account a huge slack from his opponent. Unable to be dangerous in return, multiplying the wrong choices and stubbornly seeking the point with badly hit amortizations, Alcaraz sank. At 2-2, he had the first break point of the set, but Ruud saved it with a service winner. Behind, the Norwegian was never going to be threatened again and returned to a set everywhere on a short Arthur-Ashe which seemed to sink into torpor.

Alcaraz had a good entry breaker in the third, it was clear that Ruud had taken the upper hand. He held the exchange and had settled into his line. Alcaraz, he could no longer make the ball of his racket squirt. Ruud was unbreaking quickly and if Alcaraz stayed in contact at the scoreboard, it mostly looked like resistance. But, somehow, he managed to get the right to play a tie-break. And in this decisive game which had never lived up to his name so well, Ruud was going to completely collapse. It was all the more obvious as it was the moment that Alcaraz had chosen to rekindle his flame.

After this one-sided tie-break, the match was no longer the same. Alcaraz had regained his legs. He belched victoriously again. No more dubious amortizations, it was the return of devastating blows from the baseline. Thanks to a big defense, he managed to break (4-2). Ruud was never going to come back. In his box, Juan Carlos Ferrero asked everyone to stay calm. But after the last winning service of his colt, there was no more possible restraint.

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