Carlos Alcaraz became the first Spanish tennis player to win the Miami Open title after defeating Casper Ruud in straight sets.
The Spaniard won his first ATP 1000 title with scores of 7-5, 6-4.
Alcaraz took some time to find his footing on the stadium court as he dropped the opening three games of the match. But the 18-year-old soon took control by winning eight of nine games from 1-4 down.
Alcaraz got the break back on his third break chance of the match. He won six of seven games to wrestle away the opening stanza — a ripped 102-mph forehand winner bringing up his break chances at 5-5.
Alcaraz was forced to save a breakpoint while serving out the set but a big serve erased the chance as the youngster powered to a one-set lead.
More magic followed early in the second set, as Alcaraz turned on the style with a pair of winners to seal his two early breaks in the second.
Ruud did not go out without a fight as he broke break back by converting on his sixth break point, following it up with a love hold.
Alcaraz rode strong serving to close out the match, dropping just two points in his final three service games, including two love holds. From 4-3, 30/30, he won his last six service points, sealing the Miami Open title with a successful serve and volley.
Ruud, competing in his 10th ATP Tour final, was seeking the second hard-court trophy of his career. The first Norwegian to contest a Masters 1000 final, he now holds a 7-3 record in those finals, while Alcaraz improves to a perfect 3-0.
Alcaraz is the youngest Miami men’s champion in the event’s 37-year history, and the third-youngest ATP Masters 1000 champion overall. Only Michael Chang (Toronto 1990) and Rafael Nadal (2005 Monte Carlo) were younger than Alcaraz’s 18 years and 333 days when they won their first respective ATP Masters 1000 titles.
Alcaraz replaced Novak Djokovic as the youngest Miami champion, with the Serb taking the 2007 title at the age of 19.
In addition to becoming the youngest winner in tournament history, Alcaraz becomes the first Spanish man to claim the title following eight previous final appearances, including five by Rafael Nadal who all fell on the final hurdle.