Rafa Nadal's classy act for Carlos Alcaraz moments after US Open win

Rafa Nadal (pictured left) posing with a young Carlos Alcaraz and (pictured right) Alcaraz kissing the US Open trophy.
Rafa Nadal (pictured left) was quick to praise Carlos Alcaraz (pictured right) after the 19-year-old won his first US Open title and became the youngest ever male World No.1. (Images: Twitter/Getty Images)

Rafa Nadal was quick to pay compatriot Carlos Alcaraz praise after the 19-year-old star became the youngest ever ATP World No.1 after winning his maiden US Open title.

Alcaraz shattered tennis records after becoming the youngest ever player to reach World No.1 in his 6-4, 2-6, 7-6, 6-3 victory over Casper Ruud in the US Open final.

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The Spaniard collapsed on the floor after securing his first grand slam title and his fifth ATP title in 2022.

The 19-year-old has enjoyed a remarkable year having become the youngest ever Miami and Madrid men's champion.

Alcaraz also became the youngest player to defeat both Nadal and Novak Djokovic.

And his time in New York saw US Open records tumble.

The Spaniard became the youngest US Open winner since Pete Sampras in 1990.

And he also became the youngest grand slam champion since Nadal back in 2005.

He also became the first man in 30 years to win the US Open having gone to three consecutive five-setters before the final.

The Spaniard has been hailed as the future of men's tennis and Nadal was quick to praise Alcaraz for his remarkable achievement.

He also congratulated Ruud, a Rafa Nadal Academy graduate, for his special run to the final and achieving World No.2 status.

Alcaraz has often referred to Nadal as his tennis idol growing up and the pair have taken a number of photos together.

The young Spaniard also has a game that replicates his idol.

Alcaraz's rise to the top of men's tennis has been remarkable.

At the end of 2020, the Spaniard was World No.141.

Having lifted the trophy at Flushing Meadows, Alcaraz now sits atop of the sport.

He has gone 9-4 against Top 10 players in 2022 and 51-9 overall.

Alcaraz took to Twitter after his victory to thank the crowd for the support in New York.

"These two weeks have been incredible and have included some very tough matches," he wrote.

"Thank you NYC for the support, the energy on court is impossible to explain.

"And thank you everyone on the other side of the world, staying up late or getting up early to support me."

Tennis world reacts to Carlos Alcaraz's historic US Open title

The women's US Open champion Iga Swiatek also hailed Alcaraz's victory 24 hours after her own slice of history.

Coco Gauff, tennis icon Billie Jean King and others also weighed-in on the historic moment.

Alcaraz was appearing in his eighth major tournament and second at Flushing Meadows, but already has attracted plenty of attention as someone considered the Next Big Thing in men's tennis.

He only briefly showed signs of fatigue from having to get through three consecutive five-setters to reach the title match, something no one had done in New York in 30 years.

Alcaraz dropped the second set and faced a pair of set points while down 6-5 in the third.

But he erased each of those point-from-the-set opportunities for Ruud with soft-hand volleys he repeatedly displayed.

Carlos Alcaraz (pictured) smiles with the US Open trophy.
Carlos Alcaraz (pictured) celebrates with the championship trophy after defeating Casper Ruud in the US Open final. (Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)

And with help from a series of shanked shots by a tight-looking Ruud in the ensuing tiebreaker, Alcaraz surged to the end of that set.

One break in the fourth was all it took for Alcaraz to seal the victory in the only grand slam final between two players seeking both a first major championship and the top spot in the ATP's computerised rankings, which date to 1973.

Ruud, the 23-year-old from Norway, is now 0-2 in slam finals.

with AAP

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