Alcaraz: “It’s great to be first right now.”

Alcaraz: "It's great to be first right now."

Carlos Alcaraz speaks with CNN after US Open win. Credit:AP WEST POINT, N.Y. — After a year as a top-10-ranked player, Carlos Alcaraz reached the final at the U.S. Open. He was up against Justin Rose, who was ranked No. 1 on the men’s tour. He played in every match except his final, when he withdrew due to back spasms. “This was the last chance to win the championship this year,” Alcaraz said. Alcaraz is from Colombia and went to Cornell University. Rose is from Maryland. Both are top-ranked with No. 1 ranking on the men’s U.S. Open schedule starting Monday. Rose had won four of six U.S. Open titles leading into this year.

Rose, however, has struggled with consistency of results. He won the U.S. Open in 2010, but that title came in his second year on tour, while he missed the U.S. Open entirely last year. Alcaraz is ranked No. 2 on tour and his best finish in Grand Slams is a quarterfinal at the French Open, where he was beaten by Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. “I would say it’s a good finish, a good finish. But, you know, it’s great to be first right now. It doesn’t sound great to be first on the list, but I think now is going to be more important for me. This is my chance to try to make this big final.” Alcaraz was clearly excited by the result. He did not want to sound like someone who felt he was at a losing end of the season. “I try every year to win. I don’t expect anything else. That’s my job for the year.”

He’s got a good year on his hands. “I think I’ve been on a good run with Grand Slams and the USO. The USO is where I started. It’s a tournament my father and I both wanted me to

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