‘I do not feel closer to Rafael Nadal,’ Carlos Alcaraz admits

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Carlos Alcaraz wrote history at the US Open. The 19-year-old Spaniard claimed his first Major title and became the seventh-youngest champion at one of four most notable tournaments in the Open era. Also, Alcaraz added 2000 points to his tally and became the youngest world no.

1 since the start of the ATP ranking in 1973. The Spaniard has made incredible progress over the last couple of years, working on his game under Juan Carlos Ferrero and becoming one of the world’s leading stars. Carlos was only two when Rafael Nadal claimed his first Major title at Roland Garros 2005, growing up while watching his compatriot and dreaming about repeating some of his achievements.

A teenager is on a steady course to repeat that, already winning two Masters 1000 tournaments and a Major to top the charts and seize the ATP throne. Speaking about Nadal, Alcaraz admitted he is miles away from the legend’s Major titles, feeling happy about the first and setting eyes on winning the second in the future.

Carlos was among the favorites in New York, especially after Novak Djokovic’s absence and an early exit from Daniil Medvedev and Rafael Nadal. Still, the youngster had to work hard to emerge at the top, beating three consecutive opponents in five-setters to advance into the title clash.

Carlos battled against Casper Ruud in the final, with both players seeking the first Major crown and the ATP throne. The Spaniard scored a 6-4, 2-6, 7-6, 6-3 victory in three hours and 20 minutes to write history books. Both players scored three breaks, and the Spaniard defended two set points at 5-6 in the fourth set to force a tie break and bring the victory home from there.

Carlos built the advantage with a break in the opener’s third game and landed a powerful serve at 5-4 to wrap up the first set in 49 minutes.

rafael nadal

Carlos Alcaraz became the youngest Major champion since Rafael Nadal in 2005.

The Norwegian saved a break point at 2-2 in the second set and took charge from there, rattling off four straight games to take it 6-2 and level the overall score.

Carlos grabbed an early break in the third set before losing serve at 2-1 to keep the rival on the positive side. They both served well until the 12th game when Alcaraz faced two set points. A teenager saved the first with a volley winner and denied the second with a smash winner to bring the game home and force a tie break.

With a boost on his side, the Spaniard claimed it 7-1 following the rival’s loose forehand mistake and moved closer to the finish line. Alcaraz produced five comfortable holds in the fourth set and kept the pressure on the other side.

He broke Ruud in game six after the opponent’s loose backhand and fired a booming serve at 5-3 to start a massive celebration. “I will always be proud when Rafa wins a Major. If I lose at a Major event, I will always cheer for him, being a fellow Spaniard.

I won the US Open, but I do not feel closer to him. For now, I have to think about winning my second Major. That’s my only goal for the moment,” Carlos Alcaraz said.

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