19 year-old tennis phenom Carlos Alcaraz made history Sunday night when he clinched his first U.S. Open singles title to become the youngest ever men’s world number one player. Alcaraz beat Norwegian Casper Ruud, 23, in a finals match that lasted three hours and 20 minutes, according to ESPN. It marked the Spaniard’s eighth appearance in a Grand Slam tournament.
“Well, this is something that I dreamed of since I was a kid,” Alcaraz said after the match. “It’s something I worked really, really hard [for]. It’s tough to talk right now. A lot of emotions.”
The packed crowds in Arthur Ashe Stadium periodically broke out into song, chanting “Olé, Olé, Olé! Carlos!” as they encouraged Alcaraz, who often spurred on the cheering himself, gesticulating energetically at his fans in the stands.
Known for his remarkable all-court game and volleying prowess, the young tennis star proved formidable on serve as well, with a total of 14 aces Sunday at up to 128 miles per hour. By the end of the U.S. Open, Alcaraz had spent a whopping 23 hours and 40 minutes on the court – the most playing time ever amassed by a men’s tennis player in a single major tournament.
Ruud, for his part, put up an impressive fight and claimed the world No. 2 ranking despite his loss. Though “disappointed,” the Norwegian acknowledged that his accomplishment was “not too bad, either.”
On the women’s side, Polish player Iga Świątek, 21, beat Ons Jabeur, making her the youngest three-time women’s major champion since Maria Sharapova won a third Grand Slam title in 2008 at the age of 20. Świątek has won her last 10 finals matches, all of them in straight sets.