Carlos Alcaraz defeated Casper Ruud in four sets to win his first major at the US Open and make history in moving to the top of the ATP rankings.

Either Alcaraz or Ruud would have taken the world number one spot had they won at Flushing Meadows, and it was the 19-year-old who prevailed 6-4 2-6 7-6 (7-1) 6-3 on Sunday.

The teenager – the second-youngest New York champion of the Open Era after Pete Sampras – therefore became the youngest ever men's number one.

Alcaraz had come through five-set matches in each of the prior three rounds, and he was again worked hard by Ruud – the new number two.

Ultimately, though, the highly talented Spaniard had the staying power to win his first grand slam title, becoming the first teenager to do so since Rafael Nadal at the 2005 French Open.

Despite the draining efforts of previous nights, Alcaraz made a rapid start, quickly forging three break points in the third game of the match and taking the second of them.

Ruud did little else wrong in the first set but had to bide his time to respond, losing the opener and fending off an opportunity for a break in the second before immediately applying pressure going the other way.

The Norwegian reached an Alcaraz drop shot and lobbed his opponent before watching the backhand reply land long to lead, although three unforced errors in the next game almost let Alcaraz back in.

Instead, Ruud dug in and then profited when a sloppy Alcaraz service game allowed him to clinch the second set.

Alcaraz responded in sublime fashion, immediately piling on the pressure in the third frame and breaking down Ruud's defence with a pinpoint drop shot, yet the set was level again when he crashed into the net, with a sensational rally required to reach a tie-break.

A couple of wild Ruud strokes decided the 73-minute set in Alcaraz's favour, though, and the fifth seed went long in the fourth to set his opponent on course, with an emotional victory secured in ruthless style.

Data Slam: Marathon man Carlos crowned in New York

Only the third player to reach the US Open final after winning in five sets in each of the prior three rounds, Alcaraz avoided seeing another match going all the way – even if past results suggest that would have worked in his favour.

Regardless, Alcaraz set a new record for the most time spent on court at a major tournament. Since 1999, when this data was first available, Kevin Anderson's 2018 Wimbledon run had previously represented the benchmark.

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Alcaraz – 14/3
Ruud – 4/2

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Alcaraz – 55/41
Ruud – 37/29

BREAK POINTS WON

Alcaraz – 3/11
Ruud – 3/10

Casper Ruud is looking to follow in the footsteps of compatriot Erling Haaland by putting Norway "on the map" ahead of his US Open final appearance.

Ruud is the first Norwegian male player to appear in the championship match at Flushing Meadows, where he will play Carlos Alcaraz on Sunday, with the winner also set to become the new world number one.

Runner-up to Rafael Nadal at the French Open in June, the fifth seed would become only the fourth player from Scandinavia to top the ATP rankings should he prevail at Arthur Ashe Stadium - after Bjorn Borg, Mats Wilander and Stefan Edberg.

Ruud is not the only Norwegian sportsman to be enjoying an impressive spell of form. Indeed, compatriot Haaland has made a blistering start to life at Manchester City.

The former Borussia Dortmund striker has already scored 12 goals in his first eight appearances across all competitions - including successive hat-tricks - since swapping Bundesliga for the Premier League.

Ruud hailed Haaland's red-hot streak at City, and said he takes immense pride in representing the Norwegian flag every time he steps out onto the court.

 

The nine-time ATP title winner said: "Erling Haaland has had an unbelievable season so far. And we all hope he keeps going. It's a joy to watch him score goal after goal.

"So, he's obviously the biggest star we have in Norway at the moment, and he'll probably continue to be so for many more years. 

"I'm just focused on my career and hope I can, of course, win more tournaments in my career.

"Everywhere I go, I represent Norway - whenever I play on the ATP Tour or in a grand slam, because the Norwegian flag is always behind or in front of my name.

"So, I want to represent Norway in a good way, and put Norwegian tennis a little bit more on the map than what it's been in previous years.

"I hope I can represent Norway and the Norwegian people in a good way when I'm travelling around and playing, and hopefully winning more matches."

Carlos Alcaraz will "give everything" to win the US Open and become world number one as he prepares to face Casper Ruud in Sunday's final.

Alcaraz overcame home favourite Frances Tiafoe in a thrilling five-set semi-final at Flushing Meadows on Friday, winning 6-7 (6-8) 6-3 6-1 6-7 (5-7) 6-3.

The 19-year-old will take on Ruud for the title after the Norwegian beat Karen Khachanov in four sets earlier in the day.

The honour of becoming world number one will also be on the line for both, after current holder Daniil Medvedev was eliminated in the round of 16 by Nick Kyrgios.

Speaking on-court after his victory against a spirited Tiafoe, Alcaraz said: "To be honest in the semi-final of a grand slam you have to give everything. 

"We have to fight until the last ball. It doesn't matter if we are fighting for five hours, six hours. It doesn't matter. You have to give everything on court. Frances gave everything on court. This is amazing."

The winner of Sunday's final will seal his first career grand slam, while Alcaraz will create history if he wins as it will make him the youngest world number one since the ATP rankings began in 1973.

It will be the Spaniard's first grand slam final, while his opponent appeared in a losing effort to Rafael Nadal in June's French Open final.

Alcaraz will need to recover from his third consecutive five-set match at the US Open, but insisted he will "give everything" to win.

"It's amazing to be able to fight for big things. First time in the final of a grand slam. I can see the number one in the world, but at the same time it's so far away," Alcaraz added.

"I have one more to go against a player who is unbelievable. He deserves to play a final. He played the final of a grand slam in Roland Garros. This is my first time. 

"I'm going to give everything that I have. I will have to handle the nerves of being in a final of a grand slam, but obviously I'm really, really happy and as I said before every match, I'm going to enjoy the moment."

Casper Ruud called facing off against Carlos Alcaraz in the US Open final with the world number one ranking also on the line "the ideal situation" after successfully navigating the challenge of Karen Khachanov in Friday's semi-final.

Ruud needed just over three hours to defeat the Russian 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 5-7 6-2, becoming the first Norwegian man to ever reach the US Open final.

With Alcaraz outlasting Frances Tiafoe in a five-set battle of attrition, the 23-year-old Ruud and 19-year-old Alcaraz will both be seeking their first ever grand slam title in Sunday's decider.

Speaking to the media before Alcaraz's match, Ruud said he hoped it would be the Spaniard who made it through so they could play off for the number one ranking.

"I think what's most fair is if we both reach the final and whoever wins the final reaches the world number one," he said. "That would be, I think, the ideal situation."

He then dove into some strategy about what it takes to beat the teenage sensation, saying "I will seek my revenge" for the two losses he has suffered at the hands of Alcaraz in Miami and Marbella this season, both in straight sets.

"I think if I want to beat Carlos, I'll need to play very precise with all the shots that I hit," he said. "Especially trying to keep him a little bit further back in the court, to play with good depth and length on all my shots.

"If he steps in, he can do anything with the ball. He can rip a winner. He also has great touch with the dropshot. I think he has one of the best dropshots on tour. He can do both shots back and forth, it will sort of get you off guard sometimes with the dropshot.

"If you play with good depth and good length, it's tougher to hit dropshots. That will be something that I will try to focus on.

"We're playing for the tournament and also to be world number one – of course, there will be nerves and we will both feel it. 

"I hope it will be a good match. He has beaten me a couple times and I will seek my revenge."

One advantage Ruud will have over Alcaraz is the fact that this is not his first rodeo, having made the French Open final this year where he lost to Rafael Nadal, but he feels that experience can only help him.

"I mean, Roland Garros, the final, [Nadal] obviously gave me a good beating," he said. 

"After the final I said, If I ever reach one again, I hope it is not Rafa on the other side of the court in Roland Garros because it's sort of an impossible task I think for any player. I'm happy that it's not Rafa on clay.

"I hope it can have prepared me a little bit. At least I know a little bit of what I'm facing when I'm stepping on the court, seeing the trophy on the back of the court, seeing tons of celebrities. 

"Even in Roland Garros, there was royal families there watching. That was a little bit of a new experience for me – I hope I can be more ready for that on Sunday."

Carlos Alcaraz is having a remarkable breakthrough season, and he has a chance to put an exclamation point on it after defeating Frances Tiafoe 6-7 (6-8) 6-3 6-1 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 in Friday's US Open semi-final.

It will be 19-year-old Alcaraz's first appearance in a grand slam final, and with a win against Casper Ruud he will also become the youngest world number one in men's tennis history, beating out Lleyton Hewitt (20 years and nine months old) by over a year.

In a tight first set where both players failed to capitalise on their break point opportunities, Tiafoe saved an Alcaraz set point to force the tiebreaker, where he would finally secure the opening frame with the fourth set point of his own.

With such fine margins deciding the outcomes, some sloppy serving would flip the script in the second set. After Tiafoe had no double faults in the first and Alcaraz had three, it was Alcaraz cleaning things up to post zero for the rest of the match.

Meanwhile, Tiafoe had a pair of costly double faults in the second, which ultimately led to the only break in the set, as Alcaraz converted one of his four opportunities, while saving the three break points he faced.

Tiafoe's vaunted serve continued to meltdown in the third frame, dropping his first-serve accuracy from 67 per cent to 30 per cent, which led to him winning just 35 per cent (seven-of-20) of his service points as Alcaraz lifted.

Alcaraz needed only 34 minutes to wrap up the third set, thanks in large part to Tiafoe committing 12 unforced errors with only six winners, as the Spaniard finished the set with just one ace and four winners.

As the double faults and unforced errors faded away, Tiafoe rediscovered the kind of form and fight that saw him stylishly handle the challenge of Rafael Nadal earlier this week. Tiafoe and Alcaraz traded breaks in four consecutive games in the fourth set, with the American having to save a match point to force another tiebreaker where he would prevail.

But Alcaraz would not be denied, grabbing a crucial break in the opening game of the fifth set, and when Tiafoe snatched it back, his joy was short-lived as Alcaraz re-broke in the very next game to-love, and once more to finish the match.

Data Slam: Alcaraz way ahead of schedule

If he defeats Ruud in the final, Alcaraz will become the second-youngest men's US Open champion ever at 19 years and four months old, trailing only Pete Sampras (19 years, 28 days). 

Both the third and fourth-youngest champions – Oliver Campbell (19 years, six months) and Richard Sears (19 years, 10 months) – won their titles in the late-1800s. 

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Alcaraz - 6/3

Tiafoe - 15/6

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Alcaraz - 59/37

Tiafoe - 51/52

BREAK POINTS WON

Alcaraz - 9/20

Tiafoe - 3/7

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

Casper Ruud booked his place in the semi-finals of the US Open with a 6-1 6-4 7-6 (7-4) defeat of Matteo Berrettini on Tuesday.

Ruud was at the top of his game in the opening two sets, taking the first inside half an hour, but Berrettini made a contest of the third.

Indeed, the Italian at one stage had two set points, having taken a 5-2 advantage.

Yet Ruud, who did not require a single ace in this match, clawed both back to hold his serve and immediately broke to swing the momentum in his favour once more.

Berrettini had failed to execute two routine drop-shots as he conceded serve and never regained his composure, with Ruud forcing the tie-break.

It was then that the world number seven got back on top form, racing into a 3-0 lead and, despite a wobble that saw two match points fall by the wayside, holding his nerve to seal the win at the third attempt.

Into his first US Open semi-final – and his second at a grand slam following a run to the final at Roland Garros this year – Ruud, who along with Carlos Alcaraz has a chance of becoming the new world number one, will face either Nick Kyrgios or Karen Khachanov in the last four.

Data Slam: Berrettini's top-10 hoodoo

Berrettini was aiming to reach his fourth grand slam semi-final and a second at Flushing Meadows, yet his record against top-10 opponents is a poor one, and it did not change for the better in New York.

He is now 7-19 for his career against opponents ranked inside the top 10 by the ATP, while he has lost his last 11 such matches since defeating Dominic Thiem – then ranked number three – at the 2021 ATP Cup. Berrettini has never defeated a top-10 opponent in a grand slam (0-8).

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Ruud – 0/2
Berrettini – 13/3

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Ruud – 20/23
Berrettini – 35/39

BREAK POINTS WON

Ruud – 5/14
Berrettini – 2/9

The career of Carlos Alcaraz could be one that takes up a great deal of space in the record books, and he is getting started early.

Not yet old enough to buy a stiff drink in a New York bar, the 19-year-old was the toast of Flushing Meadows after a late-night win over Marin Cilic that ran into the early hours of Tuesday.

That five-set win against the 2014 champion, combined with the shock exit of Rafael Nadal at Frances Tiafoe's hands, has raised expectations that Alcaraz could scoop a first grand slam title on Sunday.

Should he land that breakthrough major, there will be another feather in his cap, making Alcaraz the youngest world number one since the ATP rankings were established in 1973, and the first teenager to hold down top spot. He has climbed from 32nd at the start of the year to his current position of fourth on the list.

Nadal is poised to go to number one, which he last held in February 2020, unless Alcaraz or 23-year-old Norwegian Casper Ruud reach the title match. They are the only two players remaining in the draw who can clamber to the top ranking, which Daniil Medvedev will relinquish after his fourth-round exit to Nick Kyrgios.

If both reach the final, the champion will go to number one.

In the city that never sleeps, Alcaraz completed a 6-4 3-6 6-4 4-6 6-3 win over Croatian Cilic at 02:23 local time, three minutes short of matching the latest finish in US Open history, shared jointly by three matches: Mats Wilander vs Mikael Pernfors (1993), John Isner v Philipp Kohlschreiber (2012), Kei Nishikori v Milos Raonic (2014).

The victory on Arthur Ashe Stadium made Alcaraz the youngest man to reach back-to-back US Open quarter-finals since Australians Lew Hoad and Ken Rosewall both achieved the feat before turning 19 in 1953. It was called the US Championships in that era.

Alcaraz has won a tour-leading 48 matches in 2022 and has become the youngest man to reach three grand slam quarter-finals since Michael Chang over 30 years ago.

However, he next faces a player making his own history.

Alcaraz's quarter-final opponent is a recent nemesis: Jannik Sinner, the 21-year-old Italian who beat him in round four at Wimbledon and again in the final of the clay-court event in Umag, Croatia, at the end of July.

"I played a couple of times against him," Alcaraz said. "He's a great player, really tough one. I lost twice in two months [to him] so I will have to be ready for this battle against Jannik."

There is a victory that Alcaraz could point to, having defeated Sinner on an indoor hard court at the Paris Masters last November, but they have never played on an outdoor hard court, which is where they will do battle on Wednesday.

Sinner has now reached the quarter-final stage of all four majors, becoming the youngest man to pull off that feat since a 20-year-old Novak Djokovic completed the set in 2008.

The last-eight duel with Alcaraz could be a sizzling clash, albeit Alcaraz and Sinner had some recharging to do on Tuesday after both were pushed to five sets in round four, in Sinner's case by Ilya Ivashka of Belarus. Alcaraz now has a 6-1 win-loss record in five-set matches.

Nobody remaining in the men's quarter-finals has a slam title to their name, and Alcaraz will hope he continues to have the backing of the crowd in Queens.

He said after fending off Cilic: "Of course, the support today in Arthur Ashe was crazy. After losing the fourth set, it was tough for me to come back in the fifth set, to stay strong mentally. But the energy I received today made me win."

Rafael Nadal's loss to Frances Tiafoe opened up a host of possibilities including a first-time world number one and maiden grand slam winner as the top three's domination of men's singles continues to weaken.

World number three Nadal bowed out in the fourth round to 22nd seed Tiafoe 6-4 4-6 6-4 6-3 on Monday, while third seed Alcaraz triumphed over Marin Cilic 6-4 3-6 6-4 4-6 6-3 in a match that went to almost 2:30am local time.

Cilic was the last remaining male player with a grand slam title to his name, meaning this year's US Open will bring a new major champion.

There may also be a first-time world number one too, with Alcaraz guaranteed to claim the top rank if he wins the US Open title.

Fifth seed Casper Ruud will rise to world number one if he lifts the US Open crown at Flushing Meadows on September 11 too.

If both fall short of the final, Nadal will reclaim the top ranking from 2021 US Open champion Daniil Medvedev, who lost in the fourth round to Nick Kyrgios.

Alcaraz could also scale the rankings summit should he reach the final, assuming Ruud misses out.

Hubert Hurkacz will contest the second ATP 1000 final of his career after coming from a set behind to defeat world number five Casper Ruud 5-7 6-3 6-2 in the semi-final of the Canadian Open on Saturday.

It was an interesting clash of styles going into the contest, with Hurkacz expected to rely on his dominant serve, while Ruud is one of the game's top returners, so when Ruud responded to an early break and was the one serving up a storm, it spelled trouble for the world number 10.

Ruud landed 78 per cent of his first serves in the opening set, compared to 60 per cent for Hurkacz, and the Norwegian won 95 per cent of those points (20-of-21) to allow just one break point in the frame while creating four for himself.

As Ruud's serve began to falter – with his first serve accuracy and effectiveness both cratering in the second and third set – his game began to struggle to hold up to the metronomic consistency of Hurkacz, who won the ace count 18-to-eight.

After pulling the match even at one set each, Hurkacz took the contest by the scruff of the neck and won the first four games of the deciding frame to pull away.

Poland's Hurkacz – who won his only previous ATP 1000 final against Jannik Sinner at the 2021 Miami Open – will now face Pablo Carreno-Busta in the decider after the Spaniard prevailed in a three-hour war of attrition against Daniel Evans 7-5 6-7 (7-9) 6-2.

In a match that was close in every area, Carreno-Busta was slightly better, winning 68 per cent (68-of-100) of his service points compared to 60 per cent (66-of-110) for Evans, while committing just one double fault compared to the Englishman's six.

It will be Carreno-Busta's first ATP 1000 final appearance, with the 2021 Hamburg Open – an ATP 500 event – the only career title for the 31-year-old above the ATP 250 level.

Nick Kyrgios' red-hot form has been halted after going down in three sets to eighth seed Hubert Hurkacz in the quarter-finals of the Canadian Open on Friday.

Hurkacz ran away with victory, triumphing 7-6 (7-4) 6-7 (5-7) 6-1 in one hour and 46 minutes in Montreal.

Wimbledon finalist Kyrgios had come into the encounter fresh from winning 15 of his past 16 matches, including lifting the title at last week's Washington Open. Kyrgios' run had fueled expectations around him at the upcoming US Open.

"Nick has been playing some incredible tennis throughout the past weeks, so it is a pleasure playing against him," Hurkacz said post-match in his on-court interview.

"I started really well. Nick was maybe a little bit injured, which might have hurt his serve. With both of us serving so well, that few per cent can make the difference."

Kyrgios was quick on serve but the 25-year-old Pole eventually ground him down, prevailing in the third set aided by an early break.

That break came after Kyrgios gave up two double faults, leading to the Australian to complain to the umpire about his opponent's mid-match break for a change of clothes.

The Australian was unable to break Hurkacz's serve throughout the match, with the Pole edging the aces count 20-19, while he was also superior on return. Kyrgios had more winners (55-47), but more unforced errors (24-13).

Hurkacz, who will face fourth seed Casper Ruud in the semi-finals, is the only former Masters 1000 champion left in the draw.

Ruud cruised into the last four with a 6-1 6-2 victory over hometown hero Felix Auger-Aliassime who was brushed aside in one hour and 14 minutes.

The Norwegian's win marks his third ATP Masters 1000 semi-final of the season, with the Canadian plagued by 21 unforced errors compared to Ruud's eight.

Unseeded Briton Daniel Evans fought back from a lopsided opening set to knock off Tommy Paul 1-6 6-3 6-4.

Evans will face Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta after he defeated Jack Draper 7-6 (7-4) 6-1 in just under two hours.

Australia's Nick Kyrgios has now won 15 of his past 16 matches after defeating compatriot Alex de Minaur 6-2 6-3 in the third round of the Canadian Open – with his only loss coming in the Wimbledon final against Novak Djokovic.

Fresh off his first singles title since 2019 when he won last week's Washington Open, Kyrgios collected his ninth consecutive victory in impressive fashion, showing no difficulty in navigating his first-ever matchup against his fellow countryman.

He won the first four games of the match, and snatched a break in the first game of the second set to book his quarter-final against Poland's Hubert Hurkacz.

Hurkacz, the eighth seed, had to come back from a set down to defeat Spain's Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-7 (6-8) 6-2 7-6 (7-3). He struggled with his serve early, with four double faults in the opening frame, but cleaned it up as the match went on, double-faulting only once in the last two sets.

England's top hope Cameron Norrie suffered a disappointing 6-3 6-4 defeat at the hands of world number nine Felix Auger-Aliassime, but Daniel Evans and Jack Draper made it through to fly the flag.

Evans pulled off an upset win to beat 10th seed Taylor Fritz 7-6 (7-5) 1-6 7-5, and 20-year-old Draper was up a set when 17th seed Gael Monfils retired with an injury at 6-2 0-2.

American Tommy Paul claimed another scalp with his 6-4 6-2 victory against 13th seed Marin Cilic, giving him back-to-back wins against top-15 opponents after emerging triumphant against Carlos Alcaraz in the previous round.

In the final match of the day, Pablo Carreno-Busta beat his third top-30 opponent of the week with a 6-2 6-4 result against Italy's Jannik Sinner, following strong successes against Matteo Berrettini and Holger Rune.

Former world number 17 Cristian Garin was beaten 6-4 7-5 by Federico Coria in the first round of the Austrian Open in Kitzbuhel, while Matteo Berrettini and defending champion Casper Ruud withdrew from the tournament.

2017 runner-up Joao Sousa cruised past Vit Kopriva 6-1 7-5 and Jurij Rodionov set up a Round of 16 meeting with third seed Roberto Bautista Agut with a straight-sets victory over Hernan Casanova.

Dominic Thiem, who won the 2019 edition of the competition, will face Alexander Shevchenko tomorrow while Richard Gasquet will take on Sebastian Ofner.

2016 Croatia Open winner Fabio Fognini will not be regaining his title in Umag this year, after the seventh seed was knocked out by Colombian Daniel Galan in a 3-6 7-5 3-6 defeat.

Galan will play Giulio Zeppieri in the next round, who came from one set down to overcome world number 90 Pedro Cachin 3-6 6-1 6-4.

Fifth seed Alex Molcan plays his first game tomorrow against Duje Adjukovic, and sixth seed Daniel Altmaier will take on French 23-year-old Corentin Moutet.

Casper Ruud mounted an impressive comeback to defend his Swiss Open crown, after seeing off Matteo Berrettini in a three-set thriller in Gstaad.

The Norwegian, the beaten finalist at this year's French Open, made it successive triumphs at Roy Emerson Arena, after overcoming a first-set deficit to win 4-6 7-6 (7-4) 6-2.

It takes clay specialist Ruud to an eighth overall title on the surface and a third of the year, following victories at the Argentina Open in February and Geneva Open in May.

For Berrettini – also chasing a third title of the year after victory at the Stuttgart Open and Queen's – he will be left to rue letting his first-set advantage slip, after getting the drop on his rival.

The Italian was competing in his first event since he was forced to withdraw from Wimbledon with COVID-19, and made an impressive start under glorious sunshine on Sunday.

Yet Ruud was able to take him to the wire in the second set, before breaking his serve twice in the decider to emerge triumphant in Gstaad for the second year in a row in the end.

Carlos Alcaraz will play Lorenzo Musetti in the Hamburg European Open final following a straight-sets victory over Alex Molcan on Saturday.

The Spanish teenager is targeting a fifth ATP title of the year, which would move him ahead of Rafael Nadal, having already triumphed in Rio, Miami, Barcelona and Madrid.

Alcaraz is set to move into the top five of the ATP rankings for the first time after seeing off Slovakia's Molcan 7-6 (7-2) 6-1 to reach yet another championship match on his debut in Hamburg.

The top seed broke twice in the opening set but was pegged back on both occasions by Molcan, who was striving to reach a third final of 2022 after finishing as runner-up in Marrakech and Lyon.

But the 19-year-old dominated the tie-break, and found another gear to storm into the final as he made it eight successive sets won this week.

"It was tough," Alcaraz said. "Obviously, [Alex] played really well. The first set was really close; I'm really happy to be able to end the first set playing well.

"I couldn't read the drop shots from him. He was better on the drop shots today, so I was a little bit [frustrated] in the first set.

"In the second set, I think he was down a little bit; he didn't play well. I finished the match with a lot of confidence and played very well."

Standing between Alcaraz and another title is Musetti, who will appear in his maiden ATP final after he overcame Francisco Cerundolo 6-3 7-6 (7-3).

The Italian, who is set to climb into the world's top 50 for the first time, had lost six consecutive ATP Tour matches prior to this week.

But the 20-year-old continued his resurgence; ending the Bastad champion's eight-match winning streak by roaring back from 3-1 down in a second-set tie-break.

Meanwhile, Matteo Berrettini and Casper Ruud will target a third title of 2022 when they lock horns in the Swiss Open showpiece.

Berrettini - a winner in Stuttgart and Queen's before a positive COVID-19 test ruled him out of Wimbledon - registered his 12th successive victory, putting former US Open champion Dominic Thiem to the sword 6-1 6-4 in 78 minutes.

Reigning champion Ruud raced past Albert Ramos-Vinolas; winning five out of seven break points in a resounding 6-2 6-0 triumph.

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