Tennis fans have been blessed with the big three over the last 20 years but the baton is about to be passed on to the next generation this US Open Final.
Casper Ruud v Carlos Alcaraz
We are witnessing a teenager that is going to lead the next generation of tennis for the next 15 years. What Carlos Alcaraz has done this tournament is nothing short of incredible, and after getting through the toughest half of the draw he’s in prime position for a maiden Grand Slam victory when he faces Casper Ruud in the US Open Final.
The path for Alcaraz was not easy – five of his six opponents were inside the top 50, with his last three wins against a former US Open Champion in Marin Cilic, an outrageous come from behind win against what appears to be a long-term rival in Jannik Sinner, and the in-form Frances Tiafoe in front of the home crowd.
Ruud’s run hasn’t been as challenging as the Spaniard’s with three opponents ranked outside the top 100, and just the three inside the top 50 and only one of those inside the top 20. But the Norwegian can only beat who he’s put up against, and he’s played some outstanding tennis off the back of his monster forehand.
Alcaraz holds a 2-0 career record over Ruud, with his most recent win in the final of the Miami Masters in March. The Norwegian hasn’t won a set off Alcaraz from both meetings, and although the Berrettini and Khachanov wins were outstanding, this is a different beast.
The doubt is that the Spaniard will eventually tire, but after the Tiafoe win it’s clear the 19-year-old is capable of playing off pure adrenalin. The Alcaraz era starts now.