Carlos Alcaraz 'hungry for more' after landmark US Open victory

Spaniard, 19, becomes youngest Grand Slam winner since Nadal in 2005 and also to top the ATP rankings

Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

Carlos Alcaraz says he is "hungry for more" after claiming a first Grand Slam triumph at the US Open and a place in the record books as the youngest world No 1 in the history of men's tennis.

Sunday's 6-4, 2-6, 7-6, 6-3 victory over Casper Ruud comes in a breakthrough year for the young Spaniard that includes Masters wins in Miami and Madrid — where he defeated Nadal and Novak Djokovic back-to-back — Rio and Barcelona.

"Right now I'm enjoying the moment. I'm enjoying have the trophy in my hands but of course, I'm hungry for more," said Alcaraz, the first teenager to be number one in the rankings.

"I want to be in the top for many, many weeks and I hope many years. I'm going to work hard again after this week, these amazing two weeks. I'm going to fight for have more of this."

"At the moment Carlos is the best player in the world," insisted 23-year-old Norwegian Ruud.

Alcaraz's coach Juan Carlos Ferrero said the champion was "born to play these tournaments" and that there was much more to come from his compatriot.

"I think he's on 60 per cent of his game. He can improve a lot of things. He knows and I know that we have to keep working," said Ferrero.

"Once to get to the No 1, it's not done and you go. You have to keep working, keep playing at a huge level on that tournaments to keep winning.

"He knows that and I know that. I'm going to be very close from him to remember him."

Carlos Alcaraz hugs Juan Carlos Ferrero, his coach, in the box after defeating Casper Ruud to win the US Open final. AFP

Ferrero was French Open champion in 2003, the year that Alcaraz was born.

He has been guiding the new US Open champion since he was 15 when he was nowhere near the finished product.

"When he arrived to the academy when he was 15, he was like a spaghetti, very thin. We had to work," recalled Ferrero.

"Obviously we saw that he had very fast hands, very fast legs, but no muscles at all, not in the back, not in the legs.

"We had to work a lot. But obviously we saw something very special on him."

Alcaraz, however, was quick to point out on Sunday that he still only has one Slam title — 21 behind Nadal's men's record.

"But I'm on the road," he added

It was a gruelling tournament for Alcaraz.

On Sunday, he claimed the record for most time spent on court at a single Grand Slam, passing the 23 hours and 21 minutes it took Kevin Anderson to finish runner-up at Wimbledon in 2018.

Most of his 23 hours and 40 minutes were taken up by the more than 13 hours it took him to play three successive five-setters to reach the final.

He saved a match point in his five-hour 15-minute quarter-final win over Jannik Sinner.

At 19 years 4 months and 6 days, Alcaraz is the youngest player to top the ATP rankings and the youngest Grand Slam men's champion since his hero Rafael Nadal at the 2005 French Open.

On a day of landmarks, he is also the youngest champion in New York since Pete Sampras in 1990.

Nadal was quick to congratulate the player widely seen as his successor.

"Congratulations @carlosalcaraz for your first Grand Slam and for number 1, which is the culmination of your great season. I am sure there will be many more," tweeted the 22-time Slam title winner.

Updated: September 12, 2022, 3:19 AM
NEWSLETTERS
MORE FROM THE NATIONAL