Carlos Alcaraz speaks with CNN after US Open win
MELBOURNE, Australia (CNN) — Carlos Alcaraz had a game-winning shot at the US Open final, his first major title in any sport.
His eyes flashed with delight as he looked up triumphantly from the green felt that had been covering tennis’ first major, making him stand out in a sea of athletes and celebrities as well as thousands of tennis fans who crammed the courts at Melbourne Park.
“Thank you very much, thank you very much and thank you, my god!” he exclaimed when he saw his first break point of the day in the fifth game of his final.
It soon disappeared into the net, as did another at the start of the seventh, but in the end, it was Alcaraz who had taken the biggest break of all.
He was a player on a mission to become only the second Spaniard to win a Grand Slam singles title — one of the big four on the ATP tour, where he’d won 10 titles (and a record-tying 11 Masters Series singles titles), as well as 16 French Open doubles titles.
It was his fifth US Open final, having won the title with Fernando Verdasco in 2006 and losing to Rafael Nadal in 2009 and 2010.
“I had to recover but I was really happy,” he said. “I wanted to win because I felt very good, I felt very strong, I came up here knowing what to do. I’m happy. I think it’s just a moment of the most special of my life.”
He thanked his wife, whom he said he had never met before and whose presence at the final had had a profound effect on his life and career.
“It was a wonderful opportunity for me, I wouldn’t take it again,” he said. “She was there to be with me, she was there to be with my family. I’m very glad because it was a special moment for me.”
It was a moment that he said had been hard to forget.
A Spanish boy from Alicante, Alcaraz lost his mother when he was just six when she died after a lengthy illness.
“We never went to the beach together, because I live in Spain. She loved water. She liked to swim in the ocean with her daughter,” he said.
And it had been her will that