Carlos Alcaraz defeats Casper Ruud to win the US Open final
The US Open final between Carlos Alcaraz and Casper Ruud was never going to be a close match.
The Madrid native and No. 41 seed, who played at Pontevedra in Spain after being ranked No. 2, is ranked No. 10 in the world. His opponent, who came in seeded No. 42, was No. 37 in the world.
But Alcaraz never looked close to reaching a final at least since he was a teenager in 2004 when he beat former Wimbledon and Australian Open champion Nikolay Davydenko in the first round.
Ivan Dodig is ranked No. 44 in the world while Ruud is No. 54. Both of them are making their first appearance at the US Open.
With both players having won their first US Open title in Madrid, there are two sets going to a tiebreak in the opening rounds and the winner moves on to face the winner of the match between fourth-seeded Juan Monaco and Jelle Klaasen.
Alcaraz was 6-3 at one point in his career. Ruud was 10-4 in his career.
But it was going to be a tough match to call.
If there ever was a title match between these two, it was going to be a hard one. A lot of their career together was to put up with one another.
Both players were ranked in the Top 20, had reached at least one final of a Grand Slam event during their careers and each reached at least one US Open final.
Yet, it has turned out to be an epic contest, one of the most unusual finals in tennis history.
A battle royal for the ages
It is one thing to play your first match in a US Open final. It is another to play your first for your country.
Alcaraz is a former Spanish Davis Cup player, the best player to play against his country during his career.
So, he understands something of what Ruud’s team must be going through, what they will be feeling while preparing for the final.
I saw him at the practice session, and it was a little bit of a special moment to get together with him for the