Carlos Alcaraz vs. Casper Ruud US Open Final: Expert Predictions For Championship Match
Tim Clayton-Corbis, Quality Sport Images/Getty. Pictured: Carlos Alcaraz and Casper Ruud.
Alcaraz vs. Ruud Odds
|Total||39.5 (-110 / -110)|
|Time | How to Watch||7 p.m. ET | ESPN|
|Odds via FanDuel. For tips on watching tennis matches, click here.|
Carlos Alcaraz will take on Casper Ruud in the US Open final, though the stakes in this one go beyond the Slam title.
While one of the players will take home their first Grand Slam championship, the victor will also become the No. 1 player in the world.
Alcaraz and Ruud have met twice before, with the teenager taking both matchups in straight sets. Most recently, Alcaraz beat Ruud for his first Masters 1000 title in Miami.
How will one of the most important matches in recent tennis history unfold? Here's what our experts are betting.
US Open Final Best Bets
Kenny Ducey: Alcaraz owns a 2-0 head-to-head record against Ruud and there’s little reason to believe that won’t improve to 3-0 on Sunday.
For starters, let’s talk about the nerves Ruud has dealt with all throughout this year. He had a cagey start against Karen Khachanov in the semis and has looked nervous in previous big matches at Roland Garros and Miami.
Without a victory in the first set, I find it hard to believe Ruud will come through this one given the head-to-head, which will surely creep into both men’s minds.
Given how shaky he’s been out of the gate in big matches, and considering the fast starts Alcaraz has had throughout this tournament, it’s hard to see the first going to Ruud.
From a matchup standpoint, I’m also terrified for Ruud’s backhand when faced with the type of pace he’ll be getting from Alcaraz's backhand and inside-out forehand. While Ruud’s backhand has improved dramatically, he still hasn’t had to handle much pace on that wing and hasn’t really produced much either.
Ruud hasn’t faced a player nearly the caliber of Alcaraz at these championships and this will represent a massive step up in competition. For Alcaraz, you could make the argument this is his easiest match since the third round.
With that being said, I will be playing the game spread here in what I think will be a one-sided affair.
Pick: Alcaraz -3.5 games (-120)
Any normal athlete would be completely drained after playing three straight five-set matches (13:28 of court time), but not 19-year-old Carlos Alcaraz.
He’s built different.
How different? Well, that will be on full display Sunday as he and Ruud battle for the US Open title and the world’s No. 1 ranking.
While all the attention will be focused on Alcaraz’s exciting run, Ruud — as usual — will be competing with minimal fanfare.
And that’s just how he likes it. Ruud used his underdog status to his advantage against Matteo Berrettini, and (like Alcaraz) has been playing borderline unconscious tennis throughout this event.
While I hate to bet against Alcaraz in this spot — especially since he’s beaten Ruud handily in two previous meetings — there’s too much on the line for two young, hungry players for this one to not be close.
Alcaraz owns the superior speed and court coverage, but Ruud’s serve is much steadier, and he’s consistent from the baseline.
The Spaniard will look to move Ruud around with his beloved drop shots. However, the Norwegian has shown excellent defense throughout this US Open, in addition to balancing his ability to dictate points.
Ruud also has the experience of competing in a previous Grand Slam final, as he faced Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros earlier this year.
I have some concerns about Alcaraz’s serve (he’s faced 36 break points in his last two matches), so I’m confident Ruud will have enough chances to keep this within 3.5 games.
Pick: Ruud +3.5 games (-105)
Luke Holmberg: Both players have played tremendous tennis at the US Open.
Ruud looked particularly strong in the semis, taking out Khachanov in four sets. Playing lights out tennis from the baseline, Ruud has been consistent, yet powerful at the same time.
With Ruud having the Slam final experience, I am going to trust him to grab his first win against Alcaraz and find his way through the Spaniard's remarkable defense.
He has has impeccable play in key moments with his backhand showing it’s potential. I also believe he has a better serve than Alcaraz and is slightly more consistent.
I would not be surprised to see another five setter and possibly have fatigue leak into Alcaraz’s game. The Norwegian should become the world No. 1.
Pick: Ruud ML (+190)