US Open Tennis 2022 Results: Carlos Alcaraz vs. Casper Ruud Set for Men’s Final | News, Scores, Highlights, Stats, and Rumors
Men’s tennis will welcome a new Grand Slam champion into the fold when Carlos Alcaraz takes on Casper Ruud in the U.S. Open final on Sunday at Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York.
Ruud, 23, defeated Karen Khachanov in four sets on Friday to book his second trip to a final this year. He finished runner-up to Rafael Nadal at the French Open in May.
Alcaraz, 19, took down American hopeful Frances Tiafoe in five sets in the prime-time matchup. This is the first major final of his career.
The Grand Slam title isn’t the only accolade on the line in Sunday’s contest. The winner will also move into the ATP world No. 1 ranking vacated by Daniil Medvedev, who lost to Nick Kyrgios in the round of 16.
No. 5 Casper Ruud def. No. 27 Karen Khachanov 7-6 (5), 6-2, 5-7, 6-2
No. 3 Carlos Alcaraz def. No. 22 Frances Tiafoe 6-7 (6), 6-3, 6-1, 6-7 (5), 6-3
Alcaraz has made a habit of keeping tennis fans up well into the night. He beat Marin Čilić and Jannik Sinner in five-set thrillers that both finished after 2 a.m. local time. His triumph over Tiafoe took more than four hours Friday, but the earlier start time helped him wrap things up before midnight this time out.
A potent combination of speed, power, shot-making and seemingly bottomless reserves of energy helped Alcaraz navigate his way past Tiafoe, who at 24 years old has finally come into his own as a player.
The first set produced some excellent tennis, as the two players traded off service games. Tiafoe’s ability to hold was impressive considering he managed to get just 40 percent of his first serves in during the set. He did well on second serve and kept the errors to a minimum.
Alcaraz flew around the court, beating Tiafoe at the net often and whipping shots from difficult angles. The two players’ combination of speed and tactics produced thrilling points like this one.
Tiafoe, as he had all tournament long, was ruthless in the tiebreaker to take the first set.
Alcaraz dominated the second and third sets. He bullied Tiafoe while on serve, facing and surviving just three break points across the two sets. Tiafoe did manage seven aces in that time frame. But his first serve was still spotty, and Alcaraz was able to win four break-point opportunities.
The fourth set saw both players beat each other up on the returning side. A string of four straight breaks made it 3-2 in Tiafoe’s favor. The American was firmly back in the match after looking like he was out of answers for Alcaraz’s precision shot-making.
Alcaraz then moved ahead 5-4 and set up the first match point of the night with Tiafoe serving in the 10th game. Tiafoe managed to save the point with a light-as-a-feather drop shot that even the fleet-footed Alcaraz couldn’t be bothered to chase down.
Tiafoe would go on to win the tiebreaker to move to 8-0 in that situation for the tournament, a U.S. Open men’s record.
In the fifth set, Alcaraz took advantage of Tiafoe’s inability to harness his first serve, winning three of five break-point opportunities. Tiafoe managed to get just 33 percent of his first serves in, and he wasn’t able to make up for it like he did in the first set. Alcaraz closed out the match, putting himself in position to become the youngest world No. 1 in ATP history.
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“This one really hurts. … I’m gonna come back and I will win this thing one day.” <a href=”https://twitter.com/FTiafoe?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@FTiafoe</a> gets a standing O following his match at the <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/USopen?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#USopen</a> 🙏<br><br>(via <a href=”https://twitter.com/usopen?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@usopen</a>) <a href=”https://t.co/yw3Gd4Qvz5″>pic.twitter.com/yw3Gd4Qvz5</a>
As for Ruud, he showed great poise in his four-set win over the dangerous Khachanov. The two traded early breaks in the first set and then took turns holding serve until they got to the tiebreaker. It was there that Ruud triumphed in one of the best points of the tournament, outlasting Khachanov in an epic 55-shot rally to win the first set.
That win in the brilliant back-and-forth seemed to spur Ruud on to greater heights. He didn’t drop a point while on serve in the second set and broke Khachanov twice en route to a lopsided 6-2 scoreline that took just 33 minutes to put together. He was dominant on the baseline and strong when on the move, winning all five of his net points in the set.
Ruud carried that momentum early on in the third set. Khachanov finally managed to interrupt his string of service-point wins in the third game but couldn’t get the break he needed. The two traded off service wins until the 12th game, when Khachanov finally earned a break to win 7-5 and force a fourth set.
Khachanov’s glimmer of hope flickered out early in the fourth set, as Ruud broke him in the third game. The Russian couldn’t keep pace with his opponent’s composure and steady diet of forehand winners.
Ruud remained excellent while on serve, eventually finishing with 83 percent of his first-serve points won over the course of the match. Khachanov finished with 15 aces to Ruud’s 10, but his booming serve simply wasn’t enough to overcome Ruud’s smart, steely play.
Ruud, the first Norwegian to reach a U.S. Open men’s final, has already established himself as a clay-court specialist, but he now has to be considered a major threat on other surfaces as well.
Both he and Alcaraz have produced some stunning tennis in New York, and Sunday’s final should lead to more of the same as the two young stars battle to become a Grand Slam champion.
All stats courtesy of USOpen.org