Final to the throne of the world

First major coronation and world number one spot as cake decoration.

Carlos Alcaraz, 19, and Casper Rudd, 23, will score high on Sunday in the US Open final, as they breathe fresh air.

If the pursuit of a first Grand Slam title happens to be paired with accession to the ATP throne, this is the first time this scenario has concerned the finalists. Giving a hellish look to this poster also unreleased by the actors who composed it.

“I think the fairest thing is for both of us to reach the last step and whoever wins becomes the world number one,” Rudd said after his semi-final victory over Russia’s Karen Khachanov, with a smile on his lips. Go to bed like N.1, I’ll sleep really well! “.

“I’m not afraid”

Alcaraz, who could become the youngest player in history, deprived him of this fun, but he still had to expend insane energy during 4:19 of a big fight to beat American Frances Tiafoe, less than two days after spending 5:15 in the same midfield as Arthur Ashe to win an epic showdown against Italian Yannick Sener.

Including his Round of 16 win over Croatia’s Marin Cilic, the young prodigy has spent 15 sets and 1:28 p.m. on the court in his last three matches, compared to 8:56 a.m. for Ruud, who has been much quieter.

But more than tiredness, it was the entirely new context for him in a major final that Alcaraz highlighted. “Casper has already played a final at Roland Garros, and this will be my first meeting. He said before confirming that he is not afraid of this moment ‘I will leave everything on the field but I have to control my nerves.’ I have prepared myself mentally and physically to fight for things.” big like this.”

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Indeed, the Norwegian will have experience, certainly new at this point, three months after his defeat on Paris clay by Rafael Nadal. He also agreed with his future opponent: “Of course there will be tension and we will both feel it.”

But Alcaraz has a psychological advantage over Rudd because he beat him in their first two encounters, the last time in early April in the final over Miami Cement.

beautiful tomorrow

A success that made him the youngest winner in the history of the Masters 1000 and to be added to Rio de Janeiro, Barcelona and Madrid this year. Full confirmation of the talent revealed to the general public in New York last year (Quarterfinals).

A clay-court specialist, winning eight of his nine titles, including three in 2022 (Buenos Aires, Geneva, Gstaad), Ruud is also enjoying the best season of his career.

So this final might not be the one many expected at Flushing Meadows between future former No. 1 world champion Daniel Medvedev, and Rafael Nadal. But it could signal, in the absence of Novak Djokovic (unvaccinated), the beginning of a new era with the retirements of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and the Serbian approach.

In light of the performances at this US Open for the younger generation of Alcaraz, Ruud, Sinner and Tiafoe, not to mention the rebirth of Australian Nick Kyrgios, men’s tennis should have a bright future.

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