US Open: Casper Ruud defeats Karen Khachanov to earn shot at his first grand slam title

By Sports Desk September 09, 2022

Casper Ruud is through to his second career grand slam final after emerging triumphant 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 5-7 6-2 in Friday's semi-final against Karen Khachanov.

Ruud, 23, will be searching for his first major title after losing to Rafael Nadal in the French Open decider in June, and he will face the winner between Carlos Alcaraz and Frances Tiafoe.

By defeating Khachanov, Ruud has now won 13 of his past 15 matches, and while it is usually his return game that dictates his effectiveness, against the Russian it was about his ability to win points on serve.

A tight first set saw the two players exchange breaks, securing two each before Ruud took the only point against serve in the tie-break

Whatever he figured out in the breaker carried into the second set, as he did not drop a single point (16-of-16) while serving in the frame. In a near-perfect set, Ruud tallied 12 winners and two unforced errors, while Khachanov shot himself in the foot with three double faults.

With his back to the wall, Khachanov responded well in the third, finding his range with his ground strokes to post 15 winners and four unforced errors, while winning 83 per cent (24-of-29) of his service points.

But that would be his last piece of resistance before Ruud took over down the stretch, rattling off five consecutive games in the fourth set to turn a 0-1 deficit into a 5-1 lead, serving it out to love.

Data Slam: Ruud reaches new heights

Ruud is guaranteed to leave the US Open with a new career-high ranking, and with a win in the final, he will become world number one first the first time.

The only player with a chance to overtake him this week in the race for the number one spot is Alcaraz.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Ruud – 52/34

Khachanov – 43/39

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Ruud – 10/1

Khachanov – 15/3

BREAK POINTS WON

Ruud – 6/13

Khachanov – 3/5

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