“Of course I’m hungry for more” – Alcaraz plans extended stay atop ATP rankings

At 19 Carlos Alcaraz is the youngest player to ever hold the ATP’s top ranking. On Sunday, after winning the US Open, he says he plans to do whatever he can to stay at No 1.

Alcaraz US Open 2022 Carlos Alcaraz (Esp) defeated Casper Ruud (Nor) in the final of the US Open 2022 || Antoine Couvercelle / Panoramic

Now that Carlos Alcaraz has become the youngest world No 1 in the history of the ATP Tour, the Spaniard is setting his sights on setting up camp atop the rankings.

Speaking to reporters after he claimed his maiden major title in Arthur Ashe Stadium on Sunday night, 6-4, 2-6, 7-6(1), 6-3 over Norway’s Casper Ruud, the 19-year-old says he has plans to spend “many years” at the top of the rankings.

“Of course, I’m hungry for more,” Alcaraz said. “I want to be in the top for many, many weeks. I Hope many years. I’m going to work hard again after this week, this amazing two weeks. I’m going to fight for more of this.”

Alcaraz set the record for most time spent on court en route to a major title, logging a total of 23 hours and 40 minutes of court time across seven matches, including 16:48 in his final four matches.

He won three consecutive five-setters, over Marin Cilic in the round of 16, Jannik Sinner in the quarter-finals and Frances Tiafoe in the semis, and he became the first man to win the US Open after saving match point (against Sinner) since Stan Wawrinka in 2016.

Alcaraz is the seventh man in Open Era history to win the title after saving match point.

All the tennis and potential to be one of the best. All we have to do is try it

Juan Carlos Ferrero

“I overcome myself a little bit,” he said. “I played more great matches, high intensity, during the two weeks that I’ve never done before. I just can say that I’m really happy to move on to be No. 1 of the world; [I am] still growing. I’m so, so happy.”

“I have the goal to put him on the high level of tennis” commented his coach Juan Carlos Ferrero. “It’s going to be very, very difficult to achieve what they (the Big Three) have done on tennis. We’re talking about 22 Grand Slams. He has only one. Is a long way still to go. But who knows? I think he has all the tennis and potential to be one of the best. All we have to do is try it.”

Carlos Alcaraz and Casper Ruud, US Open 2022
Carlos Alcaraz and Casper Ruud, US Open 2022 | © AI / Reuters / Panoramic

Alcaraz’ belief took hold after Miami title

Alcaraz needed tremendous self-confidence to fight against fatigue and the nerves that were inevitably part of the equation in New York. He said he never doubted his own ability to win a major, despite his relative inexperience, since he won the title in Miami this Spring.

It was a true turning point in the mind of the Spaniard.

Since I won Miami, I thought I was able to have a Grand Slam in my hands,” he said. “But before Miami, I was thinking that I have to still growing up. I thought that I’m able to do a good results in a Grand Slam, but not a champion.

“But I would say after Miami I won great matches in a row. I would say after that I thought that I’m able to win a Grand Slam.”

And when Alcaraz arrived in New York to make his second US Open appearance and his eigth at the majors, he says the fans in Queens helped push him over the edge.

Those sitting inside of Arthur Ashe Stadium on Sunday heard the tremendous support Alcaraz received. Clearly the US Open crowds are in the Spaniard’s corner, and he says it means the world.

Carlos Alcaraz, US Open 2022
Carlos Alcaraz, US Open 2022 final | © Antoine Couvercelle / Panoramic

“There were a lot of tough moments for me, tough matches,” he said. “They were there all the time believing in me, supporting me. I finish the match against Jannik at almost 3 a.m. and they were there supporting me until the last ball.

“I could say this trophy is for them, as well. It’s thanks to them. Maybe if I hadn’t them supporting me all the time, I couldn’t have this trophy today.”

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