Ruud is in the final of the U.S. Open for the first time, just like Alcaraz. He is also looking for his first-ever win at a major tournament. So, no matter what happens, a Grand Slam champion will be chosen for the first time on Sunday.
Here’s everything else you need to know about Ruud vs Alcaraz US Open Mens Final.
About Carlos Alcaraz
Carlos Alcaraz has become a better player over the past two years. He had never played in a major tournament before 2021. Then, he made it to the quarterfinals at the 2021 U.S. Open and the 2022 French Open, but that was as far as he got at a Grand Slam tournament.
This week in New York, that changed, and Alcaraz worked very hard to get to the U.S. Open final. He breezed through the first three rounds, winning each match in straight sets. After that, though, things got a lot harder.
Alcaraz beat No. 15 seed Marin Cilic in the 16th round by scores of 6-4, 3-6, 6-4, 4-6, and 6-3. Then, in the quarterfinals, Alcaraz won 6-3, 6-7 (7), 6-7 (0), 7-5, 6-3 against No. 11 seed Jannik Sinner.
Even though the quarterfinal match didn’t end until 2:50 a.m ET, Alcaraz had good reason to be tired. But he came back after two days later and beat Frances Tiafoe in the semifinals with a 6-7(6), 6-3, 6-1, 6-7(5), 6-3 win.
Howard Fendrich of the Associated Press reported that after that match, Alcaraz said, “I feel great right now.” “Well, I’m kind of tired.”
Alcaraz can’t be too tired because he still has to play in the final against Casper Ruud, where the U.S. Open title is at stake. And like Alcaraz, Ruud, who is 23 years old, has been doing well in New York.
About Casper Ruud
Ruud won his first-round match in straight sets, but four of his last five games have gone four or five sets. Ruud only needed three sets to beat No. 13 seed Matteo Berrettini in the quarterfinals. However, he needed four sets to beat No. 27 seed Karen Khachanov in the semifinals.
Ruud will be the final of a Grand Slam event for the second time. He had never made it past the round of 16 in any of his first 13 major tournaments. It wasn’t until this year’s French Open that he made it to the final. Ruud almost won his first Grand Slam title, but Rafael Nadal beat him in three sets.
Ruud told ESPN, “After Roland Garros, I was very happy, but I was also humble enough to think that could have been my only final of my career.”
It wasn’t, so Ruud will get another chance to win a big tournament. But going up against Alcaraz won’t be an easy task.
Ruud is also aware of this. Alcaraz has won both of their previous head-to-head matches, including the final of the Miami Open in April, which was played on a hard court.
Alcaraz beat Ruud in that match in two straight sets. But Sunday’s match could go on for a long time because of how well these two top players have been doing since they got to the U.S. Open. So get ready for a long match that should last four or five sets.
Alcaraz had steadily moved up the ATP rankings since 2021, when, at age of 17, he became the youngest man to qualify in the Australian Open singles draw. In May of 2021, he broke into the top 100 for the first time. In April of this year, he broke into the top 10. Five professional tournaments, including two Masters 1000 events, have been won by the 19-year-old. At the Madrid Open, he played on clay, and at the Miami Open, he played on hard courts and beat Ruud 7-5, 6-4.
This season, the Spaniard has the most wins on the ATP Tour. He is 50-9, with 20-4 wins on hard courts. He is best at the baseline, but his powerful forehand lets him win points from anywhere on the court. On Friday night, he beat Tiafoe by painting the lines with shots the Americans thought were going out. He won 74% of the first serves he made (78 out of 105) and 60% of the second ones (27 of 45). Alcaraz can push his opponents back with his forehand and catch them off guard with drop shots that look like they are coming from the side.
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Ruud has won eight of his nine singles titles on clay courts, where he has had the most success. But he is 17-5 on hard courts this season and has played in a Grand Slam final before, which will help him. He will also be playing against someone who has played five sets in his last three New York matches. The Norwegian has won his previous two matches against people who have big serves, so he will be the change of pace against the Spaniard, who has a weaker serve.
Ruud’s best shot is his cross-court forehand, which kept Khachanov off balance for the whole match on Friday. Ruud seems to have gotten back on track since he had to leave Cincinnati early, and he has been playing well on courts other than grass. He made it to the semifinals of the Canadian Open, won the Swiss Open, and played very well on clay courts. He also reached the final of the French Open and won the Geneva Open. At the Italian Open, he made it to the semifinals. This season, Ruud has won 84.5% of the service games he has played on hard courts (219 of 259).