The 2022 US Open has been a story like no other Grand Slam, at least not in the era of the Big Three. The Big Apple has a reputation for throwing up surprises at every US Open tournament, but 2022 stood out. Amid the storyline having Rafael Nadal as the central character and his attempt to pull off another unprecedented feat, the 22-time Slam winner’s unbeaten run was cut short in the last 16, leaving the men’s draw open. Nick Kyrgios’ sensational summer run made him the next favorite, and more so after beating defending champion Daniil Medvedev. But the Aussie also succumbed under the pressure of immense expectations. In the other half of the draw, rising teenage sensation Carlos Alcaraz produced not one but three inspiring matches, all of which stretched over five sets, to reach his first Grand Slam final. And he will face the most unlikely finalist an expert would have predicted a fortnight ago. Casper Ruud, in his second Slam final of 2022, flew under the radar again to give himself another shot at a major, after losing to Nadal in the French Open final.
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The two young guns will have two of the biggest prizes on the line at Flushing Meadows in the final – a first major and a shot and become the new world No. 1 in the ATP rankings. Ahead of the blockbuster final between Alcaraz and Ruud at Flushing Meadows, we take a look at the head-to-head record, key stats and online records for the match…
The two have only faced each other twice before – the 2022 Miami Open final and the 2021 Andalusian Open quarter-final – and Alcaraz won both matches in straight sets. In Miami earlier this year, Ruud had managed to break the Spaniard early to go up 4-1 in the first set before Alcaraz bounced back to script a 7-5, 6-4 victory.
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WORLD #1 RANKING SCENARIO:
- Alcaraz is set to become the youngest world No. 1 in men’s tennis if he wins the US Open while Ruud will become the only Norwegian player ranked No. 1 if he achieves a better result in New York than the 19-year-old . Old.
- If Alcaraz becomes world No. 1, it will be the fourth time a No. 4-ranked player has jumped to the top of the table, the longest jump ever in the rankings, after Carlos Moya and Andre Agassi in 1999 and Pete Sampras in 2000. However, if No. 7 Ruud takes the top spot, it will be the biggest leap ever in the history of the ATP rankings.
- This will be the first-ever Grand Slam final in men’s singles history where two players will have a shot at becoming the world No. 1 for the very first time.
- Alcaraz, 19, is the youngest Grand Slam finalist since Nadal in 2005 Roland-Garros and US Open finalist since Pete Sampras in 1990. Both had won the title at the time.
- Alcaraz is the first player since Agassi at the 2005 US Open in men’s tennis to reach the final after winning three straight five-set matches. Overall, he is the seventh such player.
- Ruud is the first Norwegian player to reach the US Open final.
- It will be the 16th time in men’s tennis that a player has earned his first major at the US Open. The winner will be a 57th Grand Slam men’s champion at Open Era, 30th at the US Open and 10th at Flushing Meadows in the last 15 editions.
- Alcaraz is aiming to become the youngest Grand Slam champion since Nadal at Roland Garros in 2005 and US Open winner since Sampras in 1990.
- Ruud will aim to become the first Norwegian tennis player to win a Grand Slam trophy.