Carlos Alcaraz has admitted to Eurosport that he “got a little tense” in the middle of the US Open final against Casper Ruud on his way to a maiden Grand Slam title.
Alcaraz won the opening set 6-2, but then lost the second 2-6 before winning a crucial third set tie-break, which proved to be the final swing in momentum to set him up for victory.
His win means the 19-year-old has usurped Daniil Medvedev as the world No. 1 after an incredible rise up the ATP rankings.
“It’s incredible to have this trophy in my hand and be No. 1,” Alcaraz told Eurosport’s Alex Corretja.
“It’s something I always dreamed about when I started playing tennis and I’ve worked hard to get here. It’s a very special moment for me and I will never forget it.
“I won the first set, obviously, and I felt Casper tactically changed things up and I got a little tense, but then I started to calm down again and started to play better again.”
Alcaraz is the youngest US Open champion since Pete Sampras in 1990 and the youngest Grand Slam champion since Rafael Nadal in 2005.
Eurosport expert Corretja says the final was “amazing” and explained why he thinks it was a big moment for tennis.
“I’m very emotional, and not just for Carlos, but tennis overall,” said Corretja. “I think it was like a party of tennis, of sport, of attitude from both players trying to fight as much as they could.
“I have known Juan Carlos [Ferrero] since he was a kid. Carlos, at just 19-years-old, was able to handle the situation so well.
“He was tired and panicking at some points, but at the end of the day, he found a way and that is the most important thing.”