Teenage sensation Carlos Alcaraz wins first-ever Grand Slam title

The new (and youngest) king of tennis, Carlos Alcaraz. (Erick W. Rasco/Sports Illustrated)

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

The tagged “Next Big Thing” in the sport of lawn tennis, Carlos Alcaraz of Spain, is the newest king of the Grand Slam after claiming his first-ever US Open championship title at 19 years old.

Alcaraz took down fifth-seeded Casper Ruud of Norway in just four sets- 6.4, 2.6, 7.6, 6.3- and is the new world no. 1 ranked male tennis player after overtaking Daniil Medvedev, Alexander Zverev, and Rafael Nadal.

After going for the match-point with a 40-30 score in the final set, Alcaraz brought down the house with a thundering spin service. As the announcer said: “Game, set, and match, Alcaraz”, the 19-year-old star burst into tears while laying down on the court.

It was a surreal moment for Alcaraz who had to go through a lot before punching the US Open grand finals ticket.

Alcaraz faced tough competition before setting up his final hurrah with Ruud. During the Round of 16, he eked out a five-set thriller against the more experienced Marin Cilic.

Moving on into the quarterfinals, Alcaraz met the surging Jannik Sinner and survived his incredible game in another five-set classic.

Frances Tiafoe, the man who eliminated Nadal, was next for Alcaraz in the tournament semifinals but fell short in decoding the Spanish ace.

“It is something I have dreamt of since I was a kid. To be No. 1 in the world, to be champion of a Grand Slam, is something I have worked really, really hard for. It is tough to talk right now, I have lots of emotions,” said Alcaraz during the presentation of his championship trophy.

Alcaraz put on a show against Ruud and negated any forms of fatigue after three five-setters from his Round of 16 matchups.

An impressive 14-aces tally kicked off Alcaraz’s Grand Slam hunt and was in his groove against the defensive-oriented Ruud.

Despite dropping the second set, Alcaraz was always unfazed and banked on his powerful forehand down-the-line winners that sucked the life out of Ruud heading into the fourth set.

Alcaraz then sent in the early exclamation point after dazzling the crowd with two trick shots that were converted into points midway in the fourth set.