Carlos Alcaraz created Miami Open history by becoming the tournament’s youngest winner, defeating sixth seed Casper Ruud in the final 7-5 6-4. He is also the third-youngest Masters 1000 champion in history, having won the tournament in one hour and 52 minutes and living up to his billing as one of the tour’s most intriguing young players.
Only two men have won titles at this level at a younger age: Michael Chang, who won Toronto in 1990 at the age of 18 years and five months, and Rafael Nadal, who won Monte Carlo in 2005 at the age of 18 years and ten months. Alcaraz only dropped one set en route to his Miami title and will now compete on his favoured surface of the clay, encouraged by his best success to date.
Both players were in tremendous form entering the contest. However, it was the more reserved Norwegian, 23, who got off to a better start by striking early and putting pressure on his young opponent. Despite the fact that the bulk of the crowd was rooting for the Spaniard, he was unable to take a break opportunity at 3-1, with Casper Ruud demonstrating that he had the mental toughness to flourish in such high-pressure scenarios.
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When another opportunity to breach the world number eight’s service game arose, Carlos Alcaraz, who reached the quarterfinals in Indian Wells last month, seized it before holding his own serve to return the opening set to 4-4. Two more breakpoints were created by a blazing forehand, and while Ruud saved the first, he then blasted
wide to put Alcaraz in control of the first set. Alcaraz’s supremacy was further underlined by two breaks at the opening of the second set, the teenager rushing to a 3-0 lead that was too much for the tenacious but ultimately outclassed Ruud to surmount.