Casper Rudd qualifies for the US Open final as his first Grand Slam title, and ranks first on hand

New York — Casper Road He scored 55 shots to finish the first set of the US Open semi-finals while making huge progress against himself. Karen Khachanov He earned a 7-6 (5), 6-2, 5-7, 6-2 win on Friday that put him in his second Grand Slam title match of the year.

When it was over, the spectators at Arthur Ashe Stadium called out his name, “Ruuuuud!” – It was as if they were booing instead of saluting.

Rod, runner-up Rafael Nadal At the French Open in June, the 23-year-old from Norway could go from No. 7 to No. 1 in the standings by winning the championship at Flushing Meadows on Sunday.

Rudd said, “After Roland Garros, I was, of course, very happy, but I was also humble enough to believe that this might be the only final for me in my career.”

Well, there he is, back to that stage after only a few months. His opponent in this final will be number 3 Carlos Alcaraz Spain or No. 26 Francis Tiafoe from the United States. Like Rudd, Alcaraz will have a chance to beat the 2021 US Open champion Daniel Medvedev On top of the rankings if he wins the championship. If Alcaraz loses in the semi-finals, Rudd will finish the US Open in first place no matter what.

All four semi-finalists were men making their starts on that round in New York. It hasn’t happened in the event since 1881, when it totally was: That was the inaugural edition of what was then known as the United States Championship.

Rudd is coached by his father, former professional player Christian, and his game plan worked perfectly for most of the day against the 31st seed Khachanov, a 6-foot-6 Russian, maximalist and Wimbledon runner-up. Nick Kyrgios in five groups in the quarter-finals.

To mitigate the impact of Khachanov’s strikes, Rudd will stand behind the baseline for a comeback, then look to dominate the exchanges from the baseline. Rod used flawless footwork for side-to-side defense and found holes to deliver deep ground strokes that could finish points.

He came off smart at times, like the winner with an over-the-shoulder shot that put him 6-3 ahead in the tiebreak. Moments later came match point, in Rudd’s third chance to finish that set. It lasted 75 seconds and contained 19 more strokes than the second longest rally of those two full weeks, culminating in a backhand downhill by Rodd who delivered a forehand forehand in response.

His father smiled. His son raised his arms and put two fingers on his right hand. Perhaps it was just the index finger to denote the number 1, which may soon be next to his name.

Khachanov could not remember the 55-shot run of his career, and although he hated losing it, he was initially encouraged afterwards by the way he played towards the end of the set.

“I felt pumped in such a way that we had that long recovery, we were both moving. I felt like, ‘Okay, it hurts to lose a set with this point,'” he said. On the other side I felt like, ‘Okay, now we’re moving a lot, let’s keep moving forward.’ ‘

Rudd broke to go up 2-1 in the second set and was on his way there. After Khachanov jumped late in the third inning to make things more intriguing, Rudd broke to advance 2-1 in the fourth, ripping a forehand out of the doubles alley.

This represents the latest step in a real step forward for Ruud in the Grand Slam play. This year he came in with a record of just 14-13 in top sporting events – 3-4 in New York, where his previous best showing was a third-round appearance in 2020 – and then needed to sit outside the Australian. He opened in January after spraining his ankle in practice the day before the tournament started.

since then? He was 13-2 in the majors in 2022.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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