Casper Ruud and Carlos Alcaraz exuded class after their intense 2022 US Open final, remembering and paying tribute to the victims of the 9/11 terror attacks in New York City on the 21st anniversary of the incident. Ruud first spoke about the same during his on-court speech after the final and newly-crowned US Open champion Alcaraz followed suit.
The Norwegian expressed feelings of sympathy for the victims of the attack, including those who lost their lives and those who lost their loved ones on that unfortunate day in 2001. The 23-year-old declared that he will never forget the incident, adding that his heart goes out to all those who were affected by it.
"Before we talk about tennis, I just want to say something as I know it's an emotional day for Americans during this date," Casper Ruud said. "I send my prayers to everyone who lost their lives on this tragic day in the tragic incidents that happened here in this city and this beautiful country of yours."
"My heart and thoughts go out to everyone who lost someone close, a relative, or someone they love. Something we never forget."
Alcaraz, who beat Ruud in four sets at Arthur Ashe Stadium to win his maiden Grand Slam title, joined his opponent in extending his condolences to the people of New York and the USA.
"As Casper did, first of all, I want to talk about today, a special day for everyone. I want to let you know that my thoughts are with all of you on this special day. It's never easy to live this day as a normal day. I will remember this day with all of you," Alcaraz said at the start of his on-court speech.
Carlos Alcaraz and Casper Ruud will be ranked No. 1 and 2 respectively when the new round of ATP rankings is released on Monday.
"Disappointed that I'm not No. 1 but No. 2 is not too bad" - Casper Ruud
Casper Ruud went on to express his feelings about losing out on his maiden Grand Slam singles title in his second final during the speech. The new World No. 2 experienced a mixed bag of emotions after his loss in Sunday's final.
While he was disappointed not to win the US Open title and the No. 1 ranking, he was satisfied with the impressive feat of reaching the No. 2 spot for the first time in his career. Ruud further added that it was fitting that both Alcaraz and himself were in the final to battle it out for a maiden Major title and the top spot in the ATP rankings.
"Today was a special day and evening. Both Carlos and I, we knew what we were playing for, we knew what was at stake, and it's fun that both finalists will be No. 2 and No. 1 in the world tomorrow. I think it's fitting," Casper Ruud said during his on-court speech as the runner-up.
"I'm disappointed that I'm not No. 1 but No. 2 is not too bad either. So I'm happy with that number and I will continue to chase my first Grand Slam final and the No. 1 ranking."
Casper Ruud is the son of former professional tennis player Christian Ruud, who is also his coach. The youngster thanked his father/coach and the rest of his team and family members for their constant support as well as his entourage for being there at every step of the way in his tennis career and credited them for his success.
"Ofcourse, I owe everything to them. They've been there since Day 1 and they have been caring and helpful, thoughtful, in all my life, all my journey, and all my career. They are the reason I'm able to be here today, so I hope we can continue to have a strong relationship and be a strong team for many years in the future," Ruud expressed.