Wall Street Bosses Take In ‘Unreal’ US Open as Teenager Carlos Alcaraz Makes History
As teenage sensation Carlos Alcaraz of Spain ascended to Grand Slam glory on Sunday night at the US Open, tennis fans from Wall Street, Hollywood and Washington watched in amazement.
(Bloomberg) — As teenage sensation Carlos Alcaraz of Spain ascended to Grand Slam glory on Sunday night at the US Open, tennis fans from Wall Street, Hollywood and Washington watched in amazement.
Alcaraz, 19, defeated Norway’s Casper Ruud, 23, in a four-set match that took 3 hours and 20 minutes, earning his first major and the world No. 1 ranking. It was the youngest US Open men’s final since Pete Sampras upset Andre Agassi in 1990, marking a budding rivalry between the two legends.
“This year has been unreal,” Thoma Bravo co-founder Orlando Bravo said before the men’s final, which he attended with his son Alexander. During the match, a vocal crowd burst into chants of “Ole, Ole, Ole!”
“Hats off to Alcaraz for an incredible tournament,” said Fridtjof Berge, a Norwegian co-founder of venture capital firm Antler, who changed his flight from London so he could cheer on his countryman. “Casper is putting Norway on the tennis map.”
The men’s final capped a tournament that may be best remembered for an emotional farewell to all-time great Serena Williams, the 23-time Grand Slam champion who made an improbable run past No. 2 ranked Anett Kontaveit before bowing out. Iga Swiatek also made history as the first Polish women’s singles champion in the New York event.
Still, Bravo said Alcaraz’s epic five-hour quarterfinal, in which the Spaniard saved a match point, was his favorite of this year’s US Open — though he was still pulling for Ruud as the underdog, and high-fived his son as the Norwegian took a lead in the second set. Bravo, a talented junior player who counted Jim Courier as his roommate at Nick Bollettieri’s academy in 1985, said he still plays tennis three or four times a week.
Seated a stone’s throw away from Bravo were billionaire Bill Ackman and his wife Neri Oxman. Also courtside were BlackRock’s Larry Fink, Blackstone’s Stephen Schwarzman, Chubb’s Evan Greenberg, Third Point’s Dan Loeb, Paulson & Co.’s John Paulson, Coatue’s Philippe Laffont, Fortress’s Wes Edens, former Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, General Atlantic’s Bill Ford, Altrinsic’s John Hock, KKR’s Pete Stavros and General Catalyst’s David Fialkow.
“Great match — Alcaraz has innate poise, great energy and otherworldly talent,” said GoldenTree founder Steven Tananbaum, who was seated courtside.
“A star was born,” Paulson said.
Actress Anne Hathaway, Jon Bon Jovi, Jerry Seinfeld and Lin-Manuel Miranda also absorbed Sunday’s action at Arthur Ashe Stadium, as did one-time New York mayoral candidate Ray McGuire.
Providence Equity Partners’ Jonathan Nelson’s presence at Saturday’s women’s final was captured on social media because his suitemate was pop star Joe Jonas.
That match, in which Swiatek defeated Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur to claim her third Grand Slam title and a $2.6 million winner’s check, lured fewer corporate titans to Flushing, Queens.
But those present included Blackstone’s Prakash Melwani, who grabbed a bite at the in-stadium Eataly with Deborah Norville and Karl Wellner, as well as Tory Burch and Gary Cohn.
Former First Lady Michelle Obama attended on Friday night as Alcaraz battled past Frances Tiafoe, the first American to reach a US Open men’s semifinal since Andy Roddick in 2006.
Citi Open owner Mark Ein was part of Tiafoe’s player box, cheering on the Maryland-native who was the first Black man to compete in a US Open semifinal since Ashe in 1972.
“I was so proud of his fight, there is a lot to build on,” Ein said. “The world got to see his infectious charisma.”
All told, 776,120 attendees walked through the turnstiles at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center during the main draw fortnight, eclipsing the pre-pandemic record of 737,872 set in 2019. For the first time in Arthur Ashe Stadium’s 25 years, every session in tennis’s biggest stage was sold out.
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