Casper Rudd sends Matteo Berrettini in straight sets to secure a spot in the US Open semi-finals

New York — Casper Road He headed into the 2022 season with only one Grand Slam appearance that lasted into the fourth round anywhere and he was determined to improve his record in the top four events in tennis.

Then, a day before the Australian Open kicked off in January, he practically sprained his ankle and needed to pull out. Hardly perfect. Look at him now: Rudd is a semi-finalist at the US Open, and has a chance of climbing to number one in the ATP rankings, having reached the final at the French Open.

The 23-year-old Norwegian, coached by his father, former professional Christian, made use of what he called “the best start ever in a match” to a 6-1, 6-4, 7-6 (4) victory over Wimbledon runners-up 2021 Matteo Berrettini In the quarter-finals under a closed roof at Arthur Ashe Stadium on a rainy Monday.

He is the first Scandinavian man to reach multiple major finals in the same year since Swede Magnus Norman in 2000, and the first Norwegian to reach the semi-finals of the US Open.

“During Paris, something clicked, and I feel like, this year, I sort of figured out the best way to play five sets and know that it’s very different than playing the best three sets. … I realize sometimes, or you know, that you can kind of let one set Going every now and then to save some energy for the rest of the sets,” said the No. 5 seed Rudd. “So I think I’ve matured and learned how to play five sets better than I did last year.

He improved to 12-2 in the 2022 Grand Slam competition after making two unforced errors in the first set, 11 short of Perrettini’s number 13.

“It all kind of went away [in] Rod said. “I was shooting all the points, all the shots I needed.”

Taking Britney: “After 20 minutes I was [down] 5-0. I don’t really know how. I don’t know what happened.”

Ruud beat Bertini on clay in the Gstaad final in July and looked just as effective on the hard court as he slid behind the baseline to absorb the Italian opponent’s powerful ground kicks.

Running through an impressive first set in which he only made two easy fouls, it looked like Rudd was on his way to a solid victory when he was leading 5-1 in the second set. But Berrettini, who has been sidelined several times this season through injury or illness, was slowly starting to find his usual form and appeared to break the code in the third set when Rudd broke in the second game and saved four break points in the first half. Third.

But Rudd mustered back, breaking Berrettini in the ninth inning, then not late in the tiebreak.

Rod will now face No. 27 Karen Khachanovwho beat Wimbledon finalist Nick Kyrgios in five sets on Tuesday night.

US Open champion Daniil Medvedev, whom Kyrgios ousted in the fourth round, will drop to first place in the men’s standings on Monday, with three players having a chance to replace him: Rudd, Rafael Nadal (who lost in the fourth round to Francis Tiafoe Monday) and No. 3 Carlos Alcaraz (Who is playing Yannick Sener in the quarter-finals Wednesday).

“It’s still a long way off, I think, but of course it’s good that it’s possible. And Casper has a bit of motivation with that in mind,” said Christian Rudd, “because even when he was young, his ultimate goal was to be No. 1 in the scientist. ”

ESPN Stats & Information, The Associated Press, and Reuters contributed to this report.

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