Norwegian star Casper Ruud books a spot in his second Grand Slam final of the year, beating Karen Khachanov at the US Open to set up showdown with Carlos Alcaraz
- Casper Ruud is into the US Open final, beating Karen Khachanov in four sets
- The talented young Norwegian also made the final of the French Open in June
- Ruud went two sets up before losing 5-7 in the third, but went on to see it out
- He’ll play Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz Sunday after 19-year-old won five-set thriller
Casper Ruud put himself within one victory of an unlikely tilt at world No. 1 when he reached his second Grand Slam final of the year on Friday night.
The world No. 7 from Norway is into the US Open final after defusing the power of Russia’s hulking Karen Khachanov with a 7-6, 6-2, 5-7, 6-2 win on Arthur Ashe.
He was left awaiting whoever would emerge from the second match of the last four, either American Frances Tiafoe or the precocious Spanish teenage talent of Carlos Alcaraz – and it turned out to be the latter after an incredible five-set thriller.
Casper Ruud celebrates after winning his US Open semifinal match on Arthur Ashe Friday
The world No. 7 from Norway could even become world No. 1 if he wins his first Grand Slam
Another triumph would guarantee seeing him take over from Daniil Medvedev at the top of the rankings.
Ruud was runner-up at the French Open in June, where he eventually lost heavily to Rafael Nadal. There followed some haphazard contests on the grass, but his subsequent deeds on American hard courts have underlined the extent of his talent.
The latest international sporting export from the Nordic country, his returns were particularly impressive against the 6′ 6′ Russian, who had edged out Nick Kyrgios in the quarter-finals.
Karen Khachanov won the fourth set but Ruud ultimately proved too much for him in New York
Ruud was delighted to follow up his French Open success with another Grand Slam final
A pair of Norwegian fans in the crowd wave their flags for Ruud during his semifinal match-up
‘We were both a bit nervous at the beginning with some breaks back and forth,’ said Ruud. ‘I was fortunate to win the first set which calmed my nerves.
‘After Roland Garros I was extremely happy but humble enough to think it might be the only Grand Slam final of my career, they don’t come easy.’
Ruud won the first set tiebreak 7-5 after coming off better from an extraordinary 55-shot baseline rally.