*Alcaraz 0-1 Ruud (* – indicates next server)
The Norwegian opens with a service winner and reaches 30-0, but it goes downhill quickly from there, and he faces a break point after Alcaraz attacks his second serve. Alcaraz hits long in a high-powered baseline rally, and we’re down two. This is going to be another five hour match, right?
A double fault gives Alcaraz another break point, but Ruud serves well and keeps the initiative in the next rally to fend it off.
Ruud comes to the net on the next point, and then it gets interesting. Alcaraz fends off multiple attempts to put the game away but can’t find the big lob he used against Tiafoe, and Alcaraz finally hits the net. Ruud holds from there.
Want great pictures of the Open? Check out The Guardian’s gallery:
The most surprising of these photos: A Spotted Lanternfly, which is an invasive species in the United States. Like half the plants in my yard.
And one last comment about UK streaming: Leslee Rainbird says to check out Amazon Prime.
Ruud will serve. Let’s go…
Who will get some airtime on ESPN or appear on wire photos?
Some predictions about my end…
Lindsey Vonn (Alpine skiing), almost certainly. She is a big fan.
Michelle Obama (former first lady), maybe. Did she stay here earlier in the week?
Bill Clinton (former president), unlikely.
Spike Lee (director), unlikely. Have we seen him since Serena Williams lost?
Billie Jean King (tennis legend, venue of the same name), absolutely.
Serena Williams (tennis legend), unlikely.
Pete Davidson (former Saturday Night Live cast member, celebrity boyfriend), Joker. I don’t think he was there this week, but why not? He’s as New York as they get.
Paul Simon (singer/songwriter). I will say maybe.
Head to head…
Ruud was in another final earlier this year at the 1000 level (that’s good) final in Miami, losing in straight sets to … Alcaraz.
They also played on clay last year, with Alcaraz winning that one as well.
Pre-match interview with Kasper Ruud, and the question is related to the fact that he was also in the final at Roland Garros. He doesn’t offer too much other than it was a great year.
Carlos Alcaraz is asked about the prospect of being the youngest player to take the No.1 spot and how he said he has “no time to be tired” after his epic matches so far. He agrees.
National anthem time. The United States, that is. Not that of Norway or Spain. Do they do it at Wimbledon, Roland Garros or the Australian Open? Just curious.
Aiden Doyle replies: “Download the US Open app and there’s a radio stream. Works in the UK and the commentary is great.”
I already have a mail, a simple request for information about a UK radio broadcast of this men’s final. Can someone who is not in the US help?
If you want to contact me during this match, please email me. I can check sometimes Twitter too.
General question about the Davis Cup, Billie Jean King Cup (formerly Fed Cup) and Olympics: US collegiate tennis, which attracts a considerable number of international players as well as Americans, has a team format with six singles players and three doubles teams. The doubles matches are played first, and whichever team wins two of the three matches collects a point. Each singles match is also worth a point.
Would that be a better format than what we have now in the Davis and Billie Jean King cups? Would a team format make the Olympics more interesting?
Or how about the World Team format Tennis (which subtracts 2022)? This has men’s and women’s singles, men’s and women’s doubles, and mixed doubles, all playing one set to five rather than six, with each game worth a point in the team score. (A shutout would therefore be 25-0.)
In other events…
Women’s doubles just ended, with Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova of the Czech Republic defeating the United States Taylor Townsend and Caty McNally 3-6, 7-5, 6-1.
Men’s wheelchair singles also wrapped up today, with a second seed Alfie Hewitt of Great Britain defeating top seed Shingo Kunieda of Japan.
The top seeds also meet in the women’s wheelchair singles at Louis Armstrong Stadium, with Japan. Yui Kamiji leading the Netherlands Diede of Groot. Later on at Armstrong, it’s another matchup of top two seeds in quadruple singles – an all-Dutch matchup from a 19-year-old. Niels Vink and Sam Schroder.
Vink and Schroder teamed up earlier to win the quadruple doubles event. We had another case of doubles partners in the singles final in boys’ wheelchair events, with a 17-year-old. Ben Bartram of Norwich defeating a 17-year-old Dahnon neighborhood of Keyworth in singles but teaming to win the doubles event.
Other winners in New York:
Women’s Singles: Every Swiatek (Poland)
Men’s doubles: Rajeev Ram (USA)/Joe Salisbury (UK)
Mixed Doubles: Storm Sanders/John Peers (Australia)
How did they get here…
Ruud cruised past Britain’s Kyle Edmundblow Tim van Rijthoven in four sets, then needed four hours and 23 minutes to defeat the United States Tommy Paul – and that was with a 6-0 fifth set. His fourth-round victory over that of France Corentin Moutet was a bit quicker – 6-1, 6-2, 6-7, 6-2. Ruud followed that up with a straight win over Italy’s Matteo Berrettini in the quarter-finals and a solid three-hour win over Karen Khachanovspoiling the run of the man who messed up Nick Kyrgios‘ run in the quarter-finals.
Alcaraz climbed El Capitan, solved Fermat’s Last Theorem, brokered lasting peace in the Middle East and beat home national favorite Frances Tiafoe.
At least, it it seems as if his exploits in the early rounds were so arduous. He opened with straight wins over a pair of Argentines – Sebastian Baez and Federico Coria – and beat a 21-year-old American Jenson Brooksby.
Then it got interesting:
3 hours and 54 minutes to beat that of Croatia Marin Cilic 6-4, 3-6, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3.
5 hours and 15 minutes to beat that of Italy Jannik Sinner 6-3, 6-7, 6-7, 7-5, 6-3.
4 hours and 19 minutes to beat the USA Frances Tiafoe 6-7, 6-3, 6-1, 6-7, 6-3.
He’s still only 19 years old, which means he’s spent about half his life on the court at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Who is No. 1?
We’ll know in about two hours. Or three. Or five. Probably before midnight, anyway.
If you don’t know the names Kasper Ruud and Carlos Alcaraz — well, first of all, you missed a great tournament. But going forward, you will definitely know these names, and you should start knowing that today’s winner will take not only a US Open title but the top ranking in the world.
Alcaraz looks like the face of the future. He’s only 19 years old, but he already has a dizzying array of shots and a bottomless gas tank.
(Wait — isn’t a bottomless gas tank bad? Wouldn’t that be a big spill? And why use fossil fuels at all? Maybe a self-charging battery?)
Ruud, however, is much more than speed on the road to Alcaraz’s ascension. He has nine career titles, although eight are on clay. This match is sure to be repeated many times over the years, especially at Roland Garros.
So get cozy, order some pizza (New York, of course, in honor of the occasion — but also because Chicago-style pizza is actually a casserole) and watch as this impressive tournament concludes.
Beau will be here soon. In the meantime, here’s Tumaini Carayol on what’s likely to be an absorbing contest:
In the course of intense, chaotic and wildly entertaining US Open semi-final between Carlos Alcaraz and Frances Tiafoe, as their combined creativity, athleticism and joy merged to create entertainment in its purest form, Alcaraz absorbed so many blows. He conceded a tough first set break with a double fault, then after establishing his dominance, he couldn’t hold. Alcaraz continuously lost his serve, did not take a match point and found himself in a fifth set.
There were so many moments when the momentum could have shifted dangerously, but no matter how the match twisted, he maintained his intensity until the end. Through the three consecutive five-set fights that led him to the finals, this resilience was his defining characteristic. It will make him so hard to put down as he faces Casper Ruud for the men’s US Open title on Sunday.
Together, they created a fascinating scenario that marks a stark contrast to the years of rule by the big three. Not only will Ruud and Alcaraz compete for their first grand slam title in the final, but the world number 1 is also on the line. It is quite rare for players to reach the top of the world for the first time after winning a slam. The most recent occasion in the men’s game would come when Novak Djokovic won Wimbledon in 2011, his third major.
The obstacles for Ruud are clearly many. Despite reaching his second grand slam final of the season, Ruud has never beaten a top-10 opponent at a grand slam tournament – what a time it would be to finally do so. They faced each other in a grand final earlier this year at the Miami Open, a first Masters 1000 final for both, and although Alcaraz has yet to crack the top 15, he won in two tight sets.
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