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Move over, everyone, there’s a new king in town. On Sunday, 19-year-old Carlos Alcaraz raised the US Open trophy to become the youngest Grand Slam champion since Rafael Nadal in 2005 and the youngest ATP No. 1 in rankings history.
On Saturday, the women’s title went to Iga Swiatek, marking her seventh trophy of 2022 and third overall major. The expected champion, the 21-year-old made good on her top seeding and solidified her position at the top of the rankings.
Alcaraz Reigns Supreme in NYC
After winning his previous three matches in thrilling five-setters, Alcaraz (UTR Rating 15.86) managed to close out fifth-seeded Casper Ruud (15.78) in four, 6-4, 2-6, 7-6(1), 6-3. After spending 23 hours and 40 minutes on court, the Spaniard was crowned champion.
“It’s something that I dreamed of since I was a kid—to be No. 1 in the world, to be the champion of a Grand Slam,” Alcaraz said. “It’s something that I worked really, really hard [for].”
Ruud, vying to become the first Norwegian to win a Grand Slam, stumbled in the third-set tiebreak, managing to win just one point. From there, Alcaraz took control and raced towards history.
“This is something I tried to achieve, all the hard work I did with my team,” Alcaraz added. “I’m just 19 years old. All the tough decisions were with my parents and my team. This is something really special for me.”
Alcaraz’s ascent to the top has been unprecedented: In May of last year, he was in the qualifying of Roland Garros and ranked just outside of the Top 100. Some outlying factors have contributed to his lofty ranking, namely that Wimbledon did not award ATP points. But still, the changing of the guard has been a long time coming and Alcaraz has definitely proved himself worthy on more than one occasion.
Notably, ahead of the tournament’s start, INSIGHTS placed Alcaraz as third most likely to win the title (at 7% behind Nadal and Medvedev). He was favored at 56% odds to defeat Ruud in the final.
INSIGHTS correctly predicted the winner of the men’s matches 76% of the time and called out Brandon Holt’s (14.58) victory over Taylor Fritz (15.90) as the biggest upset (a UTR differential of 1.32).
Swiatek Re-ups 2022 Dominance
In the women’s final, Swiatek (13.27) saved her best for last in a 6-2, 7-6(5) victory over Ons Jabeur (12.97), making good on INSIGHTS’ winning odds of 62%. It marked Jabeur’s second Grand Slam final in a row after losing to Elena Rybakina in the Wimbledon final.
INSIGHTS predicted the correct winner of the women’s matches 76% of the time with the biggest upset being qualifier Daria Snigur (11.77) defeating seventh-seeded Simona Halep (12.98) in the first round.
Swiatek was the INSIGHTS tournament favorite all fortnight, going in with 22% odds (Jabeur was second favorite with 14%). The 21-year-old Pole is the first woman to win two singles majors in one year since Angelique Kerber in 2016. Like Alcaraz, Swiatek’s rise has been rapid as this was just her fourth appearance in the main draw of the US Open.
After racking up 37 wins in a row earlier this year, Swiatek’s streak ended in the third round of Wimbledon. Afterward, she struggled in the hard-court season, going 4-3. She even struggled through some of her matches in New York but adopted a positive outlook.
“It’s something that I didn’t have when I was younger, to actually be able to sometimes—maybe not ‘win ugly’ but, yeah—win when you’re not feeling 100% on,” she said after her three-set semifinal win over Aryna Sabalenka. “It’s great actually because I feel like the best players out there who are able to do that are the biggest champions. So I’m also aiming to find that more and more often.”
Swiatek is also the first Polish woman to win the US Open and has some time to lap up this victory before the new Grand Slam season begins in Melbourne next year.
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•UTR Ratings and INSIGHTS probabilities as of 10:00 a.m. EST, September 12, 2022.
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