Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz have enjoyed two meetings thus far this year. The younger Spaniard avenged that defeat in front of the home crowd at the Madrid Masters, while the older Spaniard triumphed in that thrilling Indian Wells semifinal.
As the second and fourth seeds respectively going into the draw, Carlos and Rafa were on the US Open semi-final path and hoped to compete against one another in the final four. While Alcaraz progressed to that point, Rafael Nadal faltered against Frances Tiafoe in the fourth round, giving Alcaraz the opportunity to compete for the championship and the ATP throne.
Carlos seized the chance, winning seven matches to become the seventh-youngest Major champion at the age of 19 years, 4 months. The matchup between Alcaraz and Nadal in the semifinal, according to Alcaraz‘s coach Juan Carlos Ferrero, might have been very good.
Rafael Nadal was defeated in R4 as Carlos Alcaraz won the US Open.
As one of the favourites chasing the third Major victory of the year and the ATP throne at age 36, Nadal began his 16th US Open. Between Wimbledon and the US Open, Rafa only participated in one match, and after suffering an abdominal ailment, he struggled to regain his form.
Before taking on the local favourite, Frances Tiafoe, in the fourth round, the Spaniard defeated three opponents. In three hours and 34 minutes at Arthur Ashe Stadium, Rafa was defeated 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, handing the ATP throne to Carlos Alcaraz and Casper Ruud.
With aggressive tennis, the American outplayed the Spaniard, winning the critical points to record a career-high victory. The home favourite made 28 unforced errors, 49 winners, and five breaks that sent him over the top.
Despite having a 3-1 lead in the fourth set, Nadal only managed two breaks, not enough to force a match-deciding match. Frances maintained composure and won five straight games to advance to his first US Open quarterfinal and take the lead.
Carlos Alcaraz had to fight hard to win the championship; he defeated three opponents in a row in five sets and held off Jannik Sinner on a match point in the quarterfinal. In their most important match of their lives, Carlos defeated Casper Ruud after defeating Tiafoe in the semifinal.
Carlos won with a score of 6-4, 2-6, 7-6, 6-3 to cap off two flawless weeks in New York and make history by becoming the first teenager to win a Major since Nadal at Roland Garros in 2005.