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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Friday September 9, 2022

 
Carlos Alcaraz

The Spaniard became the youngest US Open finalist in 32 years and will face Casper Ruud for the title in New York.
 

Flushing Meadows, NY—It will be Carlos Alcaraz and Casper Ruud for the No.1 ranking in New York City on Sunday.

Alcaraz edged Frances Tiafoe in a wild five-setter on Friday night in Arthur Ashe Stadium, 6-7(6), 6-3, 6-1, 6-7(5), 6-3 to become the youngest US Open finalist in 32 years and the youngest Grand Slam finalist since Rafael Nadal won his first major title in 2005 at Roland Garros.

Tennis Express

Alcaraz will face Norway’s Ruud in a double-the-pleasure final, as the pair of first-time US Open finalists will play for their first major title and the No.1 ranking.

Tiafoe fought back from the brink remarkably, winning two tiebreaks to set the record for most tiebreaks won at the US Open with eight. He saved a match point while serving at 4-5, 30-40 in the fourth set before winning the final three points of the fourth set breaker to raise the roof over Ashe, but he could not stay with Alcaraz in the fifth, as the Spaniard broke serve three times and pulled away to win his third consecutive five-setter at the Open.

Alcaraz finished with 59 winners against 37 unforced errors in the high quality affair. He was able to do significant damage against Tiafoe’s serve, winning nine of 20 break points.


But it was Tiafoe who delivered heartstopping performances in the first and fourth-set tiebreak.

The American broke Pete Sampras’ US Open record (set in 2000) for most tiebreaks won without losing one in a single tournament. Tiafoe entered the tournament with a 16-11 record in tiebreaks in 2022, and a 78-75 overall in breakers.

Though he came up short, his willingness to dig in and leave everything on the court was impressive.

Alcaraz will bid to become the third player in Open Era history to win a major after winning three consecutive five-setters during the tournament. He defeated Marin Cilic in a decider in the fourth round, then battled past Jannik Sinner in a five hour and 15-minute epic in the quarterfinals.

On Friday in Flushing he needed 4:19 to defeat Tiafoe, taking his total court time through six matches to 20 hours and 20 minutes.

Alcaraz won his first ten sets of the tournament but he has been pushed extremely hard since.

Tiafoe, who became the first American to reach the US Open semifinal since 2006 and the first black man to reach a US Open final since the great Arthur Ashe in 1972, left the court emotional, but with his head held high as the fans cheered him off.

“I’m happy I got to share the court on such a big stage with you,” he told Alcaraz, before telling the crowd: “I’m gonna come back and I will win this thing one day.”

After his semifinal victory over Karen Khachanov, Ruud looked forward to a battle for No.1 with Alcaraz, and said he is focused on taking revenge on the young Spaniard.

“I think what's most fair is if we both reach the final and whoever wins the final reaches the world No. 1. That would be I think the ideal situation,” he said. “We're playing for the tournament and also world No. 1. Of course, there will be nerves and we will both feel it.

“I hope it will be a good match. He has beaten me a couple times and I will seek my revenge.”


 

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