The 2022 U.S. Open may go down in history as the arrival of Carlos Alcaraz.
At 19 years old, Spain’s phenom beat Norwegian Casper Ruud in the final to become the youngest Grand Slam men’s singles champion since Rafael Nadal won the first of his 22 majors at the 2005 French Open. Alcaraz also became the first teenager to ascend to No. 1 in the ATP rankings, which began in 1973.
Alcaraz earned his first major title the hard way, becoming the third man in the Open Era to win back-to-back-to-back five-set matches en route to a major title. He spent 23 hours, 39 minutes on court over seven matches, the most for any man in a single major since time records began being kept in 1999.
Nadal’s quest for his 23rd major — and to move two clear of Novak Djokovic for the most in men’s history — ended at the hands of American Frances Tiafoe in the round of 16. Tiafoe became the first American born in 1989 or later to beat Nadal, Djokovic or Roger Federer in a major in 31 tries and the first American to make the U.S. Open semifinals since Andy Roddick in 2006 before falling to Alcaraz in an epic.
Djokovic was ineligible for the U.S. Open because he is unvaccinated against COVID-19. U.S. rules required that any non-U.S. citizen must be fully vaccinated against the coronavirus in order to receive a visa to enter the country.
Federer, a 20-time major champ, hasn’t played tournament tennis since undergoing a third knee surgery in an 18-month span after a quarterfinal exit at last year’s Wimbledon. He is expected to compete at the Swiss Indoors, his home tournament, in October, and possibly at least Wimbledon next year.
Australian Nick Kyrgios followed his breakthrough Wimbledon runner-up by ousting defending U.S. Open champion Daniil Medvedev in the fourth round, then lost a five-setter to another Russian, Karen Khachanov. in the quarterfinals.
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2022 U.S. Open Men’s Singles Draw