The 19-year-old Alcaraz defeated the 23-year-old Rudd 6-4, 2-6, 7-6 (7-1), 6-3 in a match that lasted more than three hours.
Algaraz became the youngest men’s singles Grand Slam winner since compatriot Rafael Nadal won his first major title in June 2005.
“It’s something I’ve dreamed about since I was little. To be No. 1 in the world, to be a champion,” Alcaraz said, as he thought of some of his family members who didn’t get to see it. He is playing.
“I always say that it’s not the time to get tired in the Grand Slam finals, you have to give everything inside,” he said.
Rudd said he will continue to chase the No. 1 spot.
“Today is a special day, Carlos and I know what we’re playing for, we both know what’s at stake,” Ruud said. “I’m definitely disappointed that I’m not No. 1, but No. 2 isn’t too bad.”
“It’s the final of a Grand Slam, to fight for No. 1 in the world — that’s what I’ve dreamed about since I was a kid,” Alcaraz told reporters after defeating Francis Tiafoe in the final four earlier Saturday.
Throughout the US Open, the Spaniard impressed people with his speed, athleticism and ferocious shot-making. This latest win could be the first of many Grand Slam titles in his career.
Algaraz, a clay-court specialist, has drawn comparisons to Nadal, a 22-time Grand Slam champion and only the second player in the Open era to reach the US Open final in his teens after Pete Sampras.
“Now, you can see all the hard work I put in every day is paying off,” Alcaraz told reporters early Saturday.
“Total coffee junkie. Tv ninja. Unapologetic problem solver. Beer expert.”