Miami Open: Carlos Alcaraz beats Casper Ruud to win his first Masters 1,000 title

Spanish teenager Carlos Alcaraz claimed the first title of his career as he beat Norway’s Casper Ruud to become the youngest winner of the Miami Open.

The 18-year-old, ranked 16 in the world, and Ruud were both playing in their first Masters 1,000 final.

Alcaraz overcame a slow start to win 7-5 6-4 against the world number eight.

He is the third-youngest winner of a Masters 1,000 title after compatriot Rafael Nadal and the USA’s Michael Chang.

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Former world number one Juan Carlos Ferrero, Alcaraz’s coach, had not been in Miami as his father had died before the tournament.

Alcaraz dedicated his semi-final win to Ferrero but the 42-year-old arrived unannounced in time for the final, for which he was courtside at the Hard Rock Stadium.

“He’s been through a tough moment,” Alcaraz told Amazon Prime.

“He came here yesterday and I was so surprised, I didn’t know. It’s so special for him to share this moment with me.”

Alcaraz is the first Spaniard to win in Miami, with neither his coach nor Nadal having managed it. Indeed Nadal, a record 21-time Grand Slam winner, has lost all five of his finals there.

Having won his first ATP 500 title in Rio de Janeiro in February, Alcaraz reached the semi-finals of the last Masters 1,000 event at Indian Wells, where Nadal, 35, beat his young compatriot.

But the teenager carried his form into Miami to reach the final – and then fought back from a tough start in which he lost his first service game, allowing 23-year-old Ruud to build a 3-0 lead.

At 4-2 down, Alcaraz broke back before breaking again at 5-5, and took the opportunity to clinch the first set without needing a tie-breaker.

The Spaniard maintained that momentum in the second set, claiming the first three games.

And although Ruud rallied to get it back to 3-2, the rest of the set went with serve as Alcaraz saw out a memorable win in Florida.

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