Carlos Alcaraz the marathon man clocks 20 hours on court en route to US Open final

·4-min read
Carlos Alcaraz in action Credit: PA Images
Carlos Alcaraz in action Credit: PA Images

You can excuse Carlos Alcaraz if he is a little weary ahead of Sunday’s US Open final against Casper Ruud as has spent nearly a full day on court when you calculate his match time.

The 19-year-old has been involved in lung-busting matches at Flushing Meadows as three of his six matches have gone to five setters while he has played four tie-breakers and also been involved in four 7-5 sets.

“It doesn’t matter if we are fighting for five hours, six hours. It doesn’t matter. You have to give everything on court,” Alcaraz said after his semi-final win over Frances Tiafoe.

He added: “It’s an incredible feeling to be in a final, to be able to win this match after four hours, 20 minutes. I feel great right now. I mean, a little bit tired. But, yeah, I feel good, I feel great.”

Alcaraz has spent 20 hours and 20 minutes on court, but he is not way ahead of Ruud as the Norwegian has clocked 18 hours and 28 minutes en route to the final.

Ruud has played one five setter, been involved in seven tie-breakers with three sets also going to 7-5.

First round

Carlos Alcaraz vs Sebastian Baez – 2h30m

The Spaniard was leading 7-5, 7-5, 2-0 when Baez retired, but the second set lasted one hour and 21 minutes.

Casper Ruud vs Kyle Edmund – 2h21m

The Norwegian made a confident start to his 2022 US Open campaign as he beat the former Australian Open semi-finalist 6-3, 7-5, 6-2.

Second round

Carlos Alcaraz vs Federico Coria – 2h11m

One of the 19-year-old’s easiest matches in New York as he didn’t stay too long on court against the Argentine, but the third set did take just under an hour to complete as he wrapped up a 6-2, 6-1, 7-5 win.

Casper Ruud vs Tim van Rijthoven 2h48m

The world No 7 dropped his first set of the tournament as he lost a tie-breaker against the Dutchman, but he went through with a 6-7 (4-7), 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 win.

Third round

Carlos Alcaraz vs Jenson Brooksby 2h11m

Although the scoreboard suggests it was a straightforward match, it was far from it as Brooksby led 3-0 in the third set after breaking twice, but Alcaraz reeled off six games in a row to win 6-3, 6-2, 6-3.

Casper Ruud vs Tommy Paul – 4h23m

Ruud’s longest match of the season-ending hard-court Grand Slam to date as he beat the American 7-6 (7-3), 6-7 (5-7), 7-6 (7-2), 5-7, 6-0.

Fourth round

Carlos Alcaraz vs Marin Cilic – 3h54m

There were 11 breaks of serve in the round-four clash with former champion Cilic as Alcaraz added just four hours to his tally, winning 6-4, 3-6, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3.

Casper Ruud vs Corentin Moutet 3h20m

Another set dropped by the fifth seed with the third set alone lasting one hour and 14 minutes, but he eventually prevailed 6-1, 6-2, 6-7 (4-7), 6-2.

Quarter-final

Carlos Alcaraz vs Jannik Sinner – 5h15m

A match for the ages as the two young guns battled it until the next morning with their 2.50am local time finish the latest ever at the US Open as Alcaraz won 6-3, 6-7 (7-9), 6-7 (0-7), 7-5, 6-3.

Casper Ruud vs Matteo Berrettini 2h38m

The Norwegian produced a dominant display early on against Berrettini and, although the Italian fought back in the third set, he won 6-1, 6-4, 7-6 (7-4).

Semi-final

Carlos Alcaraz vs Frances Tiafoe – 4h19

The teenager took his tally for the tournament past the 20-hour mark with another five-set as he ended America’s hope of a home finalist. He once again lost both tie-breakers, but managed to secure a 6-7 (8-6), 6-3, 6-1, 6-7 (7-5), 6-3 win.

WATCH: Casper Ruud and Karen Khachanov’s 55-shot rally – ‘The legs were almost shaking’

Casper Ruud vs Karen Khachanov 3h00

The 2022 French Open runner-up dropped another set, but he was largely on control against Khachanov as he won 7-6 (7-5), 6-2, 5-7, 6-2.

The pair were involved in a 55-shot rally on set point in the first set and it was an energy-sapping affair.

“That’s fun with tennis because some of the best rallies of all time, longer rallies of all times, often come in important points because we both realise how important it is. You don’t want to do a mistake,” Ruud said.

“Towards the end the pulse was getting very high and the legs were almost shaking at a point. I was able to at one point there where I just ripped the backhand down the line and went for it sort of.”

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