Rafael Nadal leads the acclaim as Carlos Alcaraz lifts Miami Open title

Kevin Palmer
A moment of delight for Carlos Alcaraz

Of all the tributes flowing towards Carlos Alcaraz after he lifted his ATP Masters 1000 title in Miami, the message from his fellow Spaniard Rafael Nadal would have meant the most.

Norway’s Casper Ruud was no match for 18-year-old superstar Alcaraz as he claimed a 7-5 6-4 win in an hour and 52 minutes, with Nadal quick to offer his congratulations.

“Many congratulations Carlitos @alcarazcarlos03 for your historic triumph in Miami,” Nadal wrote on Twitter. “The first of many to come, for sure! 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻🇪🇸”

Real Madrid FC also paid tribute to Alcaraz after his masterclass in Miami and now the teenager finds himself knocking on the door of the world’s top ten, with his ranking moving up five placed to No 11 after this breakthrough win.

Alcaraz bounced back from a slow start to claim the first set, having been 4-1 down, then broke Ruud twice early in the second en route to sealing victory.

He becomes the youngest Miami men’s champion in the event’s history, and the third-youngest ATP Masters 1000 champion.

Alcaraz, who is set to move up to 11th in the ATP rankings, said in his on-court interview: “I have no words to describe how I feel right now, but it is so special to win my first Masters 1000 here in Miami.

“I’m so happy with the win and for sure with my team. I knew Casper is playing very well, he has a big forehand. I tried to play to his backhand first and tried to go to attack, to not let him dominate the match.

“It is a privilege for me to win the Miami Open. There are no words right now, but I have to keep working. It’s a big tournament so it makes me more confident for the next tournament.

“I stayed strong mentally. In the first set he (Ruud) started well but I knew I would have chances to break his serve. At that moment I lifted my level and played better and better. I took my chances in the first set and the second set was close too.


“I now need to keep working and try to keep winning. My goal was to win a 500 (ATP) tournament. I did that, so then it was to win a Masters 1000, so hopefully it’s a Grand Slam next.”

Alcaraz paid a special tribute to his coach and former world No 1 Juan Carlos Ferrero, who has been absent from Miami in recent days following the death of his father.

“Juan Carlos came (to Miami) yesterday,” added Alcaraz. “I was surprised. I didn’t know he was coming. It’s a great moment to share with him, it’s my best title and the best moment of my career.”