Casper Ruud reached his second Grand Slam final of the year following a 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 5-7 6-2 win over Karen Khachanov in Friday’s US Open semi-final.
The Norwegian, who lost to Rafael Nadal in the final of the French Open earlier this year, will have his second at the Grand Slam cherry blossom on Sunday when he takes on the winner of a match between Carlos Alcaraz of Spain or house of hope Frances Tiafoe.
Ruud is now guaranteed to overtake Rafael Nadal for the top spot, unless the 19-year-old Alcaraz takes the title.
“This was another great match from my side. I think we were both a bit nervous at the start. This match was probably the biggest match of both of our careers,” Ruud said.
“The phenomenon in the second and fourth sets and Karen stepped up in the third. I’m extremely happy. I think the French Open could be the only slam final of my career. Here I will be back. again a few months later. The feeling can’t be described in words.”
Khachanov vs Ruud: Match Statistics
|68%||Service win rate 1||83%|
|48%||Second serve win rate||59%|
|3/5||Break points won||13/6|
|43||Total number of winners||53|
|41||Error is not required||34|
|104||Total points won||128|
This was a great opportunity for both of them – for the first time since the inaugural tournament in 1881, all four made it to the semi-finals in New York for the first time – and early anxiety was evident.
Ruud took a 2-0 lead then found himself in decline as Khachanov, last summer’s Olympic silver medalist, lost four of the next five games – but reverted to being Norwegian.
The tie-break was also tight but Ruud was the one to win it in his third set point after a rather unusual 55-shot rally.
The fifth seed then appeared to take full control of the competition in the second set only for Khachanov to hit back and claim third.
However, Ruud became stronger at the start of the fourth game, broke serve with a monstrous forehand in the third game and retreated to win in just three hours.
Salisbury & Ram defend US Open men’s doubles title
Joe Salisbury and Rajeev Ram became only the second team in the open era to successfully defend the US Open men’s doubles title.
With Neal Skupski and his Dutch teammate Wesley Koolhof on the other side of the grid, there was bound to be an English winner, and Salisbury and American Ram came out in a tight contest, winning 7- 6 (7- 4) 7-5.
It was the third Grand Slam title together for Ram and Salisbury, who also won the Australian Open in 2020, and they follow in the footsteps of Australian greats Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde, the team that ultimately won it. consecutive titles in New York in 1995 and 1996.
Both England players paid homage to the Queen, Salisbury wearing a black captain’s armband and Skupski wearing a black ribbon on his shirt.
Salisbury said: “It certainly feels a bit strange, especially after yesterday’s win. We were on top of that. It was an unbelievable game. We are very happy. with that victory.
“Obviously going to court and seeing that news is very sad. And I think people aren’t sure how to act.
“It doesn’t feel appropriate to celebrate excessively or at least show it too much, because obviously people back home and around the world are mourning at the moment, and it’s a very important time.” sad.”
The 30-year-old Londoner added: “It certainly feels a bit odd to be in this situation. Obviously we’re very happy with the success we’ve had but it’s also a sad time. “
The win also means that Salisbury, who has also won two mixed doubles titles, holds the No. 1 spot in the world. Skupski will overtake him if he and Koolhof lift the trophy.
Hewett is wheelchair final for the sixth year in a row
Alfie Hewett has reached the US Open wheelchair men’s singles final for the sixth year in a row after a comfortable victory over Nicolas Peifer of France.
Notably, Norfolk’s Hewett has reached the final on every visit to Flushing Meadows, winning the championship in 2017 and 2018 but losing the other three finals.
In an extended draw, he has so far failed to drop a set across three games and easily won 6-3 6-1 over Peifer.
Hewett will now renew his rivalry with top seed Shingo Kunieda from Japan, who is bidding to become the first man to complete a calendar Grand Slam in the men’s wheelchair singles.
Hewett, 24, lost to Kunieda here last year as well as in the finals of the Australian Open and French Open this season.
Meanwhile, the first wheelchair men’s singles final at a Grand Slam will be an all-English showdown between Ben Bartram and Dahnon Ward.