“It’s a Grand Slam final. I’m fighting for the best in the world. It’s something I’ve dreamed of since I was a kid.”
Beating Ruud and Alcalaz would make him the youngest No. 1 player in the history of the ATP rankings. The honor is now held by Lleyton Hewitt, who reached the top spot in 2001 at the age of 20.
The Spaniard has wowed crowds with his speed, athleticism and outrageous shotmaking this week, and the victory could be the first of many Grand Slam titles in his career. .
At least that’s what Tiafoe predicted after the semi-finals, when he paid tribute to Alcalaz and called his opponent a “bad guy” and a “bad guy”.
Alcaraz, a clay-court specialist who has been compared to fellow 22-time Grand Slam champion Nadal, is only the second teenager to reach a U.S. Open final in the Open Era, after Pete Sampras. . His future looks bright regardless of Sunday’s scoreline.
“Now I can see that all the hard work I’ve been doing every day is paying off,” Alcaraz told reporters early Saturday morning.
Ruud, meanwhile, will pursue his own history in the final with a chance to become the first Norwegian man to win a Grand Slam title.
He has spent less time on the court than Alcaraz in this year’s tournament, making just one past five setter against Tommy Paul in the third round.
The 23-year-old Ruud had a breakthrough year when it came to Grand Slams, having never reached more than the fourth round before this year’s French Open.
“Being successful or achieving or experiencing success at a Grand Slam kind of influences the way you think,” he told reporters on Friday. will have some effect on your confidence.”
Root and Alcaraz have faced each other twice, with Alcaraz winning both times, most recently in the finals of this year’s Miami Open.
“We’re playing for the tournament and for the best in the world,” Ruud said. “Of course it will be nerve-wracking and we will both feel it.”
For the third year in a row at the US Open, the first-ever Grand Slam champion will be crowned in the men’s singles event.