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Casper Ruud reacts to making his second Grand Slam final at US Open

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Casper Ruud admits that winning a tight first set versus Karen Khachanov helped him “calm his nerves” and eventually progress into the US Open final. On Friday, fifth-seeded Ruud defeated Khachanov 7-6 (5) 6-2 5-7 6-2 to reach his second Grand Slam final at Flushing Meadows.

“This match today was another great match from my side,” Ruud said after the match, per the ATP website. “I think we were both a bit nervous at the beginning, a few breaks back and forth. But you have to take into account that this match is probably the biggest in both of our careers.

Of course there will also be some nerves but I was fortunate to win that first set, which calmed my nerves a little bit. I played phenomenal in the second and Karen stepped up in the third. It was back and forth like every five-setter is, but I am just so happy.

After Roland Garros I was extremely happy but of course humble enough to think that could be my only final at a Grand Slam in my career. It doesn’t come easy, but here I am back again a couple [of] months later”.

How Ruud defeated Khachanov in four sets

Ruud earned the first break of the match in the second game, but his lead was short-lived as he got broken back in the third game. After getting an early break back, Khachanov broke Ruud in the seventh game to open a 4-3 lead.

But Khachanov’s lead was short-lived as well as Ruud broke back in the eighth game and the set eventually went into a tie-break. In the tie-break, Ruud opened a 6-3 lead, before realizing his third set point. After winning a tight first set, Ruud broke Khachanov in the second set to open a two-set lead.

Down by two sets, Khachanov broke Ruud in the 12th game of the third set – when the Norwegian was serving to stay in the third set. But losing the third set didn’t impact Ruud, who broke Khachanov twice in the fourth set to complete a four-set win. Ruud plays Carlos Alcaraz in the US Open final.

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