Carlos Alcaraz, 19, Wins US Open to Become Youngest-Ever No. 1 Men's Tennis Player

·3 min read
Carlos Alcaraz of Spain celebrates a point against Casper Ruud of Norway during their Men’s Singles Final match on Day Fourteen of the 2022 US Open
Carlos Alcaraz of Spain celebrates a point against Casper Ruud of Norway during their Men’s Singles Final match on Day Fourteen of the 2022 US Open

Al Bello/Getty Images Carlos Alcaraz

Carlos Alcaraz is on top of the tennis world.

On Sunday, Alcaraz, 19, beat Norway's Casper Ruud 6-4, 2-6, 7-6 (1), 6-3 at Arthur Ashe Stadium in the US Open men's singles tournament final and sealed his first-ever Grand Slam title and newfound spot as the No. 1 ranked player on the ATP Tour.

Alcaraz's ascension is historic; after he started the year ranked No. 32 in the world, the teenaged Spaniard becomes the youngest men's player ever ranked No. 1 in the world, according to the Associated Press.

"Everything came so fast. For me it's unbelievable. It's something I dreamed since I was a kid, since I started playing tennis," Alcaraz said after the match, according to the AP.

"Of course, I'm hungry for more," he added to reporters.

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Carlos Alcaraz of Spain with the winner's trophy after his victory against Casper Rudd of Norway in the Mens Singles Final match on Arthur Ashe Stadium with the roof closed during the US Open Tennis Championship 2022
Carlos Alcaraz of Spain with the winner's trophy after his victory against Casper Rudd of Norway in the Mens Singles Final match on Arthur Ashe Stadium with the roof closed during the US Open Tennis Championship 2022

Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images Carlos Alcaraz

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"[This is] something I've dreamed of since I was a kid — to be number one in the world, and champion of a Grand Slam is something I've worked really hard for," Alcaraz said on court afterwards, per the AP.

The Spanish athlete's victory Sunday took three hours and 20 minutes, one of several he played at this year's US Open that went the distance. Each of his final four matches at the tournament lasted over three hours. Alcaraz's quarterfinal win against Italy's Jannik Sinner lasted five hours and 15 minutes, and it took him four hours and 19 minutes to secure a win in the semifinal match against the American Frances Tiafoe.

The world's new No. 1 spent longer time on the court than any other player during a single major tournament run since 2000, according to ESPN.

"A little bit," Alcaraz told reporters when asked if he was tired, according to ESPN. "But there's no time to be tired in the final run of a Grand Slam — you have to give everything on court and everything you have inside. It's something I've worked hard for."

Carlos Alcaraz of Spain hits a forehand against Casper Ruud of Norway in the final of the men's singles at the US Open
Carlos Alcaraz of Spain hits a forehand against Casper Ruud of Norway in the final of the men's singles at the US Open

Frey/TPN/Getty Images Carlos Alcaraz

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Ruud — who, at age 23, moves up to the No. 2 ranked men's player in the world after placing second in Flushing Meadows, New York — suggested after the match Sunday that Alcaraz may prove a generation-defining talent in men's tennis.

"He's one of these few rare talents that comes up every now and then in sports. That's what it seems like," Ruud said according to the AP. "Let's see how his career develops, but it's going all in the right direction."

Alcaraz is the first teenaged men's player to win the US Open since Pete Sampras in 1990 and the first teen to win any of tennis' four Grand Slam tournaments since Rafael Nadal won the 2005 French Open, according to the AP. His status as ATP Tour's youngest men's No. 1 dates back to 1973, when the ATP started publishing weekly rankings.

"I want to be (at) the top for many, many weeks — I hope many years," Alcaraz said after the match, according to the AP. "I'm going to work hard again after this week, these amazing two weeks. I'm going to fight (to) have more of this."