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US Open: queen and kings abdicate, long live the new monarchs!

By winning the final on Sunday, Carlos Alcaraz won his first Grand Slam title at the age of 19 and was crowned world No.

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US Open: queen and kings abdicate, long live the new monarchs!

By winning the final on Sunday, Carlos Alcaraz won his first Grand Slam title at the age of 19 and was crowned world No.1. He is the youngest to reach the top of the pyramid since the creation of the ATP rankings in 1973.

Among women, Iga Swiatek brought at 21 the beginning of stability in an extremely changing hierarchy: the Pole consolidated her place of N.1 by winning her second Major of the year (the third in total) after Roland-Garros . No player had won two Grand Slam tournaments in the same year since Germany's Angelique Kerber in 2016 (Australian Open and US Open).

"She feels good in the role of N.1", notes Mats Wilander, himself a former world number one and current consultant for Eurosport, stressing that the Pole had taken advantage of her admiration for Rafael Nadal by adopting his "intensity game".

On the men's circuit, where the boss' place was left vacant by Daniil Medvedev (26) after his elimination in the 8th round, we can argue that Novak Djokovic (35) was not there to play for the title. And, more generally, that his rank in the hierarchy has been distorted this season.

The Serb was unable to defend his title in Australia or his points from the US Open final for having refused to be vaccinated against Covid, while his coronation at Wimbledon (21st Major, one length from the record of Nadal) counted for butter in the classification, since no points were distributed there.

- Alcaraz-Sinner, over time -

The fact remains that Alcaraz has brilliantly confirmed all the expectations placed on him for a year and that he has found himself a choice opponent over time in the person of the Italian Jannik Sinner (21 years old) .

Without forgetting Casper Ruud (23 years old), reputed to be earthbound but who also asserted himself on hard court this year: the Norwegian played two major finals (Roland-Garros and US Open) and would have become world No.1 if he was imposed on Sunday at Flushing Meadows. Seventh in the world when he arrived in New York, he left N.2.

"He doesn't have the charisma to set fire to a stadium like Alcaraz or Frances Tiafoe do, but he does honor to our sport," noted ex-N.1 John McEnroe on Eurosport.

Unlike the very reserved Scandinavian, the spectacular American Frances Tiafoe (semi-finalist at 24) may also have made an appointment for the future battles of leaders, just like the volcanic Australian Nick Kyrgios (27, finalist at Wimbledon and quarter-finalist in New York), who has been able to tame his nerves in recent months to mingle with the crème de la crème.

"I think the changing of the guard is finally happening," McEnroe summed up.

- "Their time has come" -

While regretting Djokovic's absence, McEnroe said he was "excited" by the eight players who reached the quarters: Kyrgios, Khachanov, Berrettini, Ruud, Sinner, Alcaraz, Rublev and Tiafoe. “Their time has come,” he assured.

"Djoko" has not said his last word and will undoubtedly still be a candidate for the main titles and in place of N.1. But he inexorably loses his historic rivals Roger Federer (41), who has not played in a tournament since Wimbledon 2021, and Rafael Nadal, whom physical problems and family projects seem to have to keep more and more away from competition.

And if we feared the void that the departures of the three greatest players in history would inevitably leave, the showdown between Sinner and Alcaraz, in the 8th at Wimbledon and in the quarterfinals at the US Open, alone augur other breathtaking duels.

"Jannik and I have demonstrated (in the quarter-finals at Flushing Meadows, editor's note) that we are the present of tennis and that a long career is ahead of us," said Alcaraz.

His coach Juan Carlos Ferrero was even more direct: "Sinner and Carlos could dominate the circuit for the next ten years".

2009 winner at Flushing Meadows, Argentinian Juan Martin Del Potro, who was one of the rare players to win during the reign of the Big 4 (Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, Murray), is also very enthusiastic about the idea of ​​this "growing rivalry".

"I think the part we just saw (Alcaraz-Sinner in the quarters) could be the Federer-Nadal" of tomorrow, he estimated on ESPN.

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