Miami Open 2022: Carlos Alcaraz beats Casper Ruud to win maiden ATP 1000 crown

Alcaraz is the youngest Miami men's champion in the event's 37-year history, as well as the third-youngest ATP Masters 1000 champion overall.

Carlos Alcaraz after winning the 2022 Miami Open. (Image: Twitter/Miami Open)

Carlos Alcaraz won the Miami Open on Sunday for the first time in his career on the ATP Tour. The Spaniard won his first ATP Masters 1000 title and third tour-level title in the final at Hard Rock Stadium, defeating sixth seed Casper Ruud 7-5, 6-4. Alcaraz is the youngest Miami men’s champion in the event’s 37-year history, as well as the third-youngest ATP Masters 1000 champion overall, with 283 tournaments under his belt dating back to 1990. He is the first Spanish champion at the tournament, and his victory will propel him to a career-high ATP Ranking of No. 11 in the world.

Only Michael Chang (Toronto 1990) and Rafael Nadal (2005 Monte Carlo) were younger than Alcaraz when they won their first ATP Masters 1000 titles at the age of 18 years and 333 days. Alcaraz took over as the youngest Miami champion from Novak Djokovic, who won in 2007 at the age of 19, when Alcaraz was three years old.

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Lost for words

“I have no words to describe how I feel right now,” Alcaraz said after the match. “It’s so special to win my first Masters 1000 here in Miami. I have an unbelievable team with me and family… I’m so happy with the win and my team.”

How the final panned out

Alcaraz took control of the match after losing the first three games due to a sluggish start, winning eight of nine games from a 1-4 deficit. In the second, he used that run to open up a double-break lead, and despite Ruud’s best efforts, the Spaniard was able to close out the match with three confident service holds.

Alcaraz took some time to get his bearings on the stadium court, just as he did in his semi-final victory over Miomir Kecmanovic. Ruud got off to a good start, but he was helped along by five early Alcaraz errors as he eased into the lead. Alcaraz got the break back on his third break chance of the match after getting to at least 40/30 in his first three return games. He won six of seven games to overturn the early deficit, including a blazing 102 mph forehand winner that put his break chances at 5-5.

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With deep returns, the Spaniard consistently put pressure on Ruud’s serve, frequently putting his opponent on the back foot. Alcaraz held comfortably until he was forced to save a break point while serving out the set, despite not blowing away the sixth seed on his own serve. As the youngster powered to a one-set lead, a big serve erased the chance.

More magic came early in the second set, when Alcaraz turned up the heat with a pair of winners to secure his two early breaks. Ruud got one break back on his sixth break point of a three-deuce game, just as he appeared to be on his way to winning the match. Before taking a medical timeout to receive treatment for an apparent issue in his left hip area, he followed it up with a love hold.

Alcaraz finished the match with a strong serving performance, dropping only two points in his final three service games, including two love holds. He came back from 4-3, 30/30 to win his final six service points, clinching the title with a successful serve and volley before collapsing to the court in joy. Alcaraz won 75% of the points in the match (36/48) on his first serve.




WRITTEN BY
Sportslumo Desk

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