Carlos Alcaraz Miami Open 2022

Carlos Alcaraz and Casper Ruud set to battle after reaching maiden Masters 1000 finals

Carlos Alcaraz and Casper Ruud both overcame challenging opponents to reach their first ever Masters 1000 final at this week’s Miami Open.

18-year-old Spanish sensation Alcaraz edged past defending champion and World number ten Hubert Hurkacz 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (7-2), whilst 23-year-old Norwegian Ruud sunk Argentinian youngster Francisco Cerundolo 6-4, 6-1.

En route to the Miami Open final both players had to overcome tough opposition. Alcaraz dispatched World number five Stefanos Tsitsipas with a point-of-the-year contender, whilst Ruud knocked out World number four Alexander Zverev and World number 12 Cameron Norrie.

In doing so, not only did Alcaraz end Hurkacz’ ten-match Miami Open winning streak but the duo have also reached their maiden Masters 1000 finals.

World number eight Ruud had previously reached the semi-finals of the Rome Masters in 2020 and the Monte Carlo and Madrid Masters in 2021, although he was beaten on all three occasions meaning he has never reached a Masters final.

Meanwhile, this is Alcaraz’ first ever Masters final, making him the fifth youngest Masters finalist at just 18 years and 11 months old. This is only one month older than 21-time Grand Slam legend and Alcaraz’ childhood idol Rafael Nadal when he achieved the same feat.

Alcaraz is also the second-youngest finalist in Miami Open history, again just behind Nadal.

Speaking ahead of the final, Alcaraz said “it’s something that you dream of when you are a child. I have a lot of emotions right now.

“It’s really good to be in the final here in Miami. I love playing here. The crowd is amazing.

“I’m going to approach the final like a first round, trying to mask the nerves. I’m going to enjoy it, it’s going to be a great final.”

Similarly, Ruud said “it was not where I imagined myself playing my first Masters 1000 final [on a hard court], but I will take it.

“It’s a great feeling and I’m enjoying the city and the tournament. I’m standing here smiling.

“I have had three tough losses in my previous Masters semi-finals and I thought today was a good chance to reach my first final.”

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Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.