2022 US Open Men’s Recap

AP/ John Minchillo, file

2022 US Open Men’s Recap

Unlike the women’s US Open final, the men’s final was between two players looking for their first Grand Slam and the number one ranking.

At 19 years and four months, Carlos Alcaraz becomes the youngest number one in the history of the ATP. Casper Ruud, no elder statesman at the tender age of 23, now becomes the second-ranked player in the world.

It was an unlikely final when this tournament started. All eyes were on Nadal, Medvedev, Kyrgios, and Tsitsipas. Unfortunately for those four, who were coming into this tournament with high expectations, the tennis universe seemed to have other plans. This now almost feels like the passing of the baton from one dominant Spaniard to another. Nadal was also 19 when he captured his first of 14 French Open titles. Carlos’ tenacity, grit and never-say-die attitude on the court is almost a mirror image of Nadal’s. Spain can now rest easy knowing that once the great Nadal retires, they’ll very likely have Alcaraz to watch at the very top for the next 20 years.

Main takeaways:

Kyrgios seemed to have run out of gas by the time the quarterfinal rolled around. I can’t imagine the long doubles match before the quarterfinal helped his preparation. Nick was solidly placed as the favorite to win after his dismantling of defending champ Medvedev. Fortunately for Nick, there’s always another Grand Slam around the corner. With his level of play, he can sleep well knowing that his game can compete with the very top.

Nadal looked flat in his round of 16 loss to Tiafoe. Little tennis in the summer and nagging injuries were definitely a factor. Luckily for Nadal, he’ll have a few weeks off before his return to the courts. I would imagine he skips most of the indoor season and ends his season at the ATP Finals before defending his Australian Open title in January.

The generation of Berrettini, Zverev, Tsitsipas, Thiem, and Coric has been put on notice by Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner. Out of these highly touted stars, only Thiem has been able to win a Grand Slam. It is looking highly unlikely that they will dominate once Nadal and Djokovic hang up their rackets. I see a world where Sinner and Alcaraz dominate the field.

Finally, For all the Alcaraz fans out there, you can look and feel like Carlos out on the courts. Here’s all his gear!

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