Casper Rudd, Carlos Alcaraz and the Night of Definition
Records are there to be broken and the winners are said to write history. On Sunday night, Casper Ruud and Carlos Alcaraz will not only be looking to win their first Grand Slam title, but to become the best men’s tennis player.
Ruud, once considered a clay-court specialist, has been making a lot of noise about his play on the court this summer. With his quarter-final win, his winning percentage on hard courts surpassed that on clay.
The key to its success? The 22-year-old Norwegian has a consistency like a wall, putting one more ball into play, but also with his variations in speed on his forehand and his calm on the court. He has earned the honor of being one of the most consistent players in results in 2022.
Trained by his father, who was also a tennis professional reaching world number 39, they gradually found each other. They have a very good relationship and no matter what happens on or off the pitch, his father is always by his side to support him in everything. And with that, they reached their first Grand Slam final together at Roland Garros where they fell to Rafael Nadal.
But on Sunday, in his second major final of the year, Ruud will face another Spaniard, the youngster many compare to Rafa himself, and that’s Carlitos Alcaraz.
Although Alcaraz has a lot in common with Rafa, his style of play, his tenacity and his ability to suffer on the pitch, he doesn’t like to compare. He says he’s on his own path, and while the comparison is very sympathetic, he doesn’t feel that way.
When asked if he saw himself winning the title, he said he didn’t imagine it could become a possibility, but the same humility and fire in his heart are one step away from transforming his dream in reality.
Alcaraz had a complicated road, with many suffered victories, many nights ending at dawn and adding hours of play that exceeded 13 hours. But, there is something in their favor and that is youth and a team with a lot of experience. With their coach Juan Carlos Ferrero, they went through the tournament with the conviction that together they can conquer the world.
The time has come. Both players know what they play for and what it means to win their first Grand Slam and more than that, to win world number one. Nerves will surely be on the line, but the difference will be who grows up in the face of the situation.
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