Casper Ruud is the first US Open finalist! The Norwegian toppled Karen Khachanov 7-6, 6-2, 5-7, 6-2 in two hours and 59 minutes at Arthur Ashe Stadium for his second Major final after Roland Garros. Thus, Ruud moves in front of Rafael Nadal in the world no.
1 battle and will take the ATP throne if Carlos Alcaraz loses to Frances Tiafoe in the second semi-final! Casper played on a high level to leave Karen behind, starting all over in the fourth set to seal the deal and remain on the title course.
Khachanov fired 15 aces, but Ruud's first serve was the more dangerous weapon. The Norwegian claimed 57 out of 69 points behind the first serve and embraced an almost flawless net game. Casper blasted 53 winners and 34 unforced errors, overpowering the rival in sets two and four and earning one of the career-best victories.
Casper Ruud is through to his second Major final.
Karen delivered three breaks from five chances, which was not enough to keep him safe. Ruud turned 40% of the return points into six breaks from 13 opportunities, doing everything right and hoping to lift the title on Sunday.
They traded early breaks in the opener and stayed neck and neck following more return games in games seven and eight. The set went into a tie break, and Casper claimed it 7-5 following a cracking 56-stroke rally that kept the crowd on the edge of their seats.
Carried by this boost, Ruud delivered perfect serving in the second set. The Norwegian claimed all 16 points in his games and kept the pressure on the other side. The Russian could not follow it, getting broken in games three and five to fall 4-1 behind.
Ruud wrapped up the set with a hold at love in game eight to build a massive advantage and move closer to the finish line. Both players served well in the third set's first 11 games, and Ruud needed one more good hold to introduce the second tie break.
Instead, Khachanov grabbed a break at 15 to take the set 7-5 and improve his chances after two hours and 20 minutes. Casper started all over in the fourth set and dropped four points behind the initial shot. Karen was far from those numbers, losing serve in games three and five to find himself miles away from a positive score.
Casper produced one good hold after another and sealed the deal with a hold at love in game eight for a place in the title clash.