Ruud beats Khachanov and reaches the US Open final

Casper Ruud claimed a 55-shot point to end the first set of his US Open semi-final as he built a big lead against Karen Khachanov and held on for a 7-6(5), 6-2, 5-7 , Friday’s 6-2 win that landed him in his second Grand Slam title game of the year.

When it ended, spectators at Arthur Ashe Stadium shouted his name, “Ruuuuud!” – and it kind of sounded like they were whooping, instead of saluting.

Ruud, Rafael Nadal’s runner-up at the French Open in June, is a 23-year-old from Norway who can move from 7th to 1st in the ranking by winning the championship at Flushing Meadows on Sunday.

His opponent in this final on Sunday is number 3 Carlos Alcaraz from Spain or number 26 Frances Tiafoe from the United States. Like Ruud, Alcaraz went in on Friday with a chance to rise to replace 2021 US Open champion Daniil Medvedev at the top of the rankings after the tournament.

All four men’s semifinalists made their debut in that round in New York. That hadn’t happened at the event since 1881, when it was an absolute must: That was the inaugural edition of what was then known as the American Championships.

Ruud is coached by his father, former professional player Christian, and the game plan worked perfectly for most of the day against 31st-ranked Khachanov, a six-foot Russian with a powerful serve that knocked out Wimbledon runner-up Nick Kyrgios in five sets. in the quarterfinals.

To soften the effect of Khachanov’s serve, Ruud would move far behind the baseline to return and then try to dominate the exchanges from the baseline. Ruud used flawless footwork for side-by-side defense and found gaps to deliver deep foundations that could finish points.

He put in some brilliant performances every now and then, such as the over-the-shoulder volley winner who gave him a 6-3 lead in the tiebreak. Moments later, the point of the match came, on Ruud’s third chance to close that set. It lasted 75 seconds and included 19 strokes more than the second longest rally of the entire two weeks, culminating in a down-the-line backhand from Ruud who pulled a netted forehand in response.

Dad smiled. His child raised both arms and put two fingers on his right hand. It could just be the index finger to indicate number 1, which could soon be next to his name.

Ruud broke through to lead 2-1 in the second set and was on his way there. After Khachanov came on late in the third to make things a little more intriguing, Ruud broke through to lead 2-1 in the fourth, ripping a down-the-line forehand winner out of the doubles.

This marks the final step in a real step forward for Ruud in Grand Slam play.

He came in this year with a record of just 14-13 at the sport’s major events – 3-4 in New York, where his best previous show was a third round appearance in 2020 – and then had to sit out the Australian Open. in January after twisting his ankle in practice the day before the tournament started.

From that moment on? He is 13-2 at the majors in 2022.

Salisbury, Ram repeat as Men’s Doubles Champion

Earlier on Friday, Joe Salisbury of Great Britain knocked down an overhead to take another US Open title in the men’s doubles with American partner Rajeev Ram.

Other than that, there wasn’t much partying. It didn’t feel right for the British player now that there is so much grief at home after the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

“I think it didn’t feel appropriate to celebrate too much or at least show that too much, because clearly everyone at home and around the world is in mourning right now, and it’s a very sad time,” Salisbury said. Friday.

“It certainly feels a bit strange to be in this situation. We are of course very happy with the success we have had, but yes, it is a sad time at the same time.”

Salisbury and Ram became just the second team to repeat themselves as US Open Professional Era Men’s Doubles champions with their 7-6(4), 7-5 win over Wesley Koolhof and Neal Skupski.

Joe Salisbury of Great Britain, left, lifts the trophy with American partner Rajeev Ram after winning the men’s doubles final at the US Open on Friday in Queens, New York. (Charles Krupa/The Associated Press)

Salisbury wore a black band around the left sleeve of his shirt, while Skupski, who is also British, wore a black ribbon across his chest. Both teams had played semi-finals on Thursday and learned on TV of the Queen’s death shortly after Salisbury and Ram secured their win.

“I didn’t really see much of the news. But incredibly sad for the country and of course the world for what she did,” Skupski said.

“It was a bit strange, playing us while the country is clearly in mourning. She was a wonderful maid and we will of course remember that she was an incredible woman.”

Salisbury and Skupski are likely to team up to play doubles for Great Britain in the Davis Cup next week. They can compete against Ram, who is on the American roster who is in the same group.

Salisbury ensured that he remains the No. 1 player in doubles with his 17th consecutive victory at the US Open, a combination of men’s and mixed doubles.

This made him and Ram, the highest-placed team, the only pair except Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde to go back-to-back in New York since 1968. The Hall of Fame duo from Australia won in 1995 and 1996.

McNally and Townsend to women’s doubles final

New partner, same destination for Caty McNally.

McNally earned a second consecutive trip to the women’s doubles final by teaming up with compatriot Taylor Townsend for a 1-6, 6-3, 6-3 victory over the 12th-seeded team of Caroline Dolehide and Storm Sanders on Friday.

McNally lost in the final last year to Coco Gauff, who recently reached No. 1 in women’s doubles. But she and partner Jessica Pegula, who were the No. 2 seeds, were ousted in the first round.

20-year-old McNally coupled up in New York with Townsend, who returned to the tour this year after giving birth to a son in March 2021.

The duo lost the first set in 26 minutes and trailed 2-0 in the second before building their rally.

McNally and Townsend will play in the final on Sunday against the number three seeded team of Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova.