Carlos Alcaraz created history on Sunday, 11 September, as he became the youngest tennis player to claim the world number 1 ranking, since ATP started the rankings system back in 1973. The Spaniard defeated Casper Ruud to win his maiden grand slam, the US Open, at the tender age of 19.
In an enthralling final, Alcaraz won the first set 6-4, but Ruud eventually made a comeback to win the second set 6-2. However, in the last two sets, the 19-year-old showed immense maturity and expertise to record 7-6, 6-3 wins, and subsequently, lay his hands on the shimmering trophy.
The tennis fraternity heaped praises on Alcaraz for his incredible achievement. Fellow Spaniard Rafael Nadal, who is a four-time US Open winner, wrote on Twitter “Congratulations @carlosalcaraz for your first Grand Slam and for number 1, which is the culmination of your first great season, which I am sure will be many more!”
Football giants Real Madrid also congratulated Alcaraz by tweeting “Congratulations on your historic victory in the @usopen, @carlosalcaraz. It is a source of pride that a great Madridista like you wins his first Grand Slam and is the youngest tennis player in history to reach n. º 1 in the @atptour ranking. Congratulations! #RealMadrid.”
Here's how Twitter reacted to Alcaraz's triumph:
‘I Came Here Just To Enjoy,’ Says Alcaraz
Following his victory, Alcaraz revealed that the title was not the highest on his agenda for the US Open, as he came into this competition just to enjoy playing tennis. According to his coach Juan Carlos Ferrero, the youngster was struggling to deal with the pressure lately and had ‘lost his happiness.’
“I lost the joy a little bit. I felt the pressure. I couldn't smile on court, which I'm doing in every match, every tournament. I came here just to enjoy, you know? To smile on court, to enjoy playing tennis. I love playing tennis, of course. I would say if I smile, if I have fun out there, I saw my best level, my best tennis,” Alcaraz said.