Casper Ruud reserves his place at the US Open last by facing the former Karen Khachanov | United States Tennis Open 2022

A little over a year ago, after Casper Ruud picked up a great straight-sets victory in a match in Toronto, he decided to have a little fun. Given a marker to signal the television camera, he chose to write down a simple message: “exhausting the courts”. He signed it with a smiling face.

His level was clear. He had heard loud and clear all the criticism of his talents on the court, the way these individuals questioned him and underestimated him, but he took it with a smile. He always worked hard, hoping that he would continue to improve over time.

As he continues to push forward in the best season of his career, the quiet tenacity and constant hard work exhibited by Ruud continues to yield fine success. Regardless of the strain of being the favorite in a Grand Slam semi-final, Ruud remained consistent through his early nerves and regularly beat the 27th seed Karen Khachanov as he became the first Norwegian to win a last US Open, managed 7-6(5), 6-2, 5-7, 6-2.

By reaching the ultimate Ruud, the fifth seed, set himself on the verge of directly reaching the 2 final achievements in the sport. Three months after being crushed by the unstoppable pressure of Rafael Nadal during the French Open last time out, he will be playing for his first Grand Slam title again. Ruud will even become the new world No. 1 next week unless Carlos Alcaraz, who faced Frances Tiafoe in a single day in the second semi-final, wins the US Open.

Much of the current history of men’s tennis has been written by three men, players who have amassed most Grand Slam titles, won the last rounds of events and, even if they haven’t won, absorbed a large part of the eye.

For the first time since the inaugural US Open in 1881, four male players had directly reached their first US Open semi-final. Three of those four had never before reached a Grand Slam semi-final. There was no hiding from the full pressure of Grand Slam pressure, but the rewards were good for whoever was daring enough.

The importance of the event for Ruud and Khachanov, 26, was reflected early on in mutual nerves. None of the participants were able to play freely as breaks had been swapped, fingers altered by momentum, and each had made mistakes. As the set progressed, Ruud appeared more and more like the more stable and balanced player.

Consistency was achieved as Ruud won the tiebreaker 7-5 with the longest rally of the game, refusing to ignore and running through the courtroom on defense. On the 54th shot of by far the longest level of the match, Ruud stepped in and drilled a candy backhand on the road, which pressured an error from Khachanov and won him the set.

With one set under his belt, Ruud played free for a while, but the third set introduced some problems. Khachanov served well throughout the set and the tension grew until Ruud’s nerves finally betrayed him at 5-6 as he landed a forehand down the line at set level.

However, Ruud demonstrated his psychological strength by instantly bouncing back again. He served very well in the fourth, landed some returns, then took the decisive break with a spectacular forehand winner down the line as he marched to victory.

There are more spectacular players throughout the game, characters who get more attention and hype, but Ruud has continued at his own pace, trying to improve every time he enters the room. hearing. The result is two Grand Slam finals in a single year, a feat that none of his more notable contemporaries has yet achieved.

This time, with no 13-time French Open champion on the other side, a stunning alternative awaits. Whether he can take it or not, the 23-year-old has made his intentions clear for the years to come. When Novak Djokovic and Nadal finally leave, the boys’ draws could continue to open up and other alternatives will likely be there. With hard work, humility and a cool head, Ruud will continue to be in the body.

About Marcia G. Hussain

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