Hello and welcome to what is guaranteed to be a historic night in New York.
Not only will Spanish sensation Carlos Alcaraz and Casper Ruud battle for the US Open title but the winner knows they will also become world No 1 for the first time. 19-year-old Alcaraz could become the youngest man to win a grand slam since fellow Spaniard Rafael Nadal did so at the same age at the 2005 French Open while Ruud would become the first No 1 player from Norway.
The last two winners of the men’s title have been first time winners with Dominic Thiem in 2020 and Daniil Medvedev last year.
“It’s amazing to be able to fight for big things. First time in a final of a Grand Slam. I can see the number one in the world and at the same time it is so far away,” Alcaraz said. “I have one more to go against a player who plays unbelievable. He deserves to play in the final. He played the final of a Grand Slam in Roland Garros and this is my first time. I’m going to give everything I have.”
For it to end with so much on the line is fitting, with Ruud describing it as the “ideal situation”.
“Of course there will be nerves and we will both feel it,” said the 23-year-old. “I hope it will be a good match. He has beaten me a couple of times and I will seek my revenge.”
This is Ruud’s second grand slam final of the year after losing to Rafael Nadal at the French Open and he is hopeful the experience can help against Alcaraz.
“(Nadal) obviously gave me a good beating,” said Ruud. “After the final I said, ‘if I ever reach one again, I hope it is not Rafa on the other side of the court in Roland Garros’, because it’s sort of an impossible task I think for any player. I’m happy that it’s not Rafa on clay.
“I hope it can have prepared me a little bit. At least I know a little bit what I’m facing when I’m stepping on the court, seeing the trophy on the back of the court, seeing tons of celebrities. I hope I can be more ready for that on Sunday.”