(September 6, 2022) FLUSHING MEADOWS, New York – Casper Ruud the No. 5 seed defeated No. 13 seed Matteo Berrettini 6-1, 6-4, 7-6(4) to reach the US Open semifinal for the first time, his second major final four. He made the semifinals of the French Open, when he lost in the final to Rafael Nadal. Ruud rallied from 2-5 down in the third set to close out the match.
Ruud on the early domination of the Italian going up 5-0 in 20 minutes: “That was a better start than I ever had before in a match, everything was going my way.”
“The first two sets went much better than I was expecting, if I can put it this way. Everything sort of went my favor. I was hitting all the spots, all the shots that I needed to. Matteo was maybe not showing the level he typically does.
“But I think the conditions were a little bit in my favor with the humidity and the roof closed. It made the ball or the court feel a little slower. I felt like I had more time than usual when I play against him. It was a little bit of advantage for me.
“Then third set I was also a little bit fortunate to save some set points and come back and win it on the tiebreak, but very happy to win in three straight sets. I’ll have two days off before Friday’s semifinal.”
“I think he had the best start possible, and I helped him,” Berrettini said to media.
“Really nothing I can say more than the worst day of the tournament probably in the most important moment. Nothing today. I mean, I fought through, but it wasn’t enough. I wasn’t feeling my game. I wasn’t feeling my mindset. I think he was feeling really good.
“Congrats to him. I told him. He also said he played unbelievable match.”
“I actually started to, in the third, or actually end of the second, started to put more energy in what I was doing, even though I felt like not really good. I fought through, and he played a little bit worse,” said Berrettini. “You have to find the balance between the energy and the game.
“Even when I was up 5-2 I wasn’t feeling that great, and I think you could see it in the next games. When you are feeling like that, the only thing you can do, you have to fight. That’s what I tried to do. But I guess it wasn’t enough.”
“I’m honestly a bit surprised that I made it to the semis here, but I think I have developed my hard court game a lot the last year or two, and I think Miami this year showed me and I proved to myself that I can, you know, beat good players and reach later stages in big hard court tournaments,” said Ruud in his news conference.
“That has been a sort of confidence booster for myself. But I think obviously when I grew up in Norway I played six months of the year in clay and six months of the year indoor hard court because of the weather, so it’s not like I don’t enjoy playing on the hard court at all or that I don’t know how to do it, because I did it quite a lot when I was younger. And just the fact that maybe I prioritized or feel a little bit more comfortable on clay myself at this time of my career or during my career doesn’t mean I don’t like to play on hard court or that I cannot have good results here.
“I think if you look at this tournament, US Open, and a couple of players who have been known as clay court players, let’s say Rafa and Thiem, they have both won here, and Rafa has won it four times. When you look at the Champions Wall in the locker room here, you see there are many different players who have won this tournament. This is a Grand Slam the last 18 or 19 years that had more winners than the rest of them, because I’m not sure why, but there is something special I guess with this place. This year I’m pretty sure there will be new first-time winner here this year also.
“It shows that it’s possible to do it here in New York. It’s sort of a city of dreams, I guess, and I guess that’s helping me with my game and my motivation.”
Ruud’s father Christian Ruud spoke to media about being both father and coach to his son:
“Sometimes I just have to stop and just enjoy the moment, but of course there is always a lot of things that comes with being a professional player and then also doing well. There is a lot of things outside the court.
“But when I was playing, the teams around were much smaller, so I felt like I was almost like a hobby a little bit. It was not that serious in a way.
“But now of course everything is more serious, the teams are bigger, you are spending more money on the coaching staff and everything. So in a way, I feel like it’s more serious now, but I think both journeys have been very fun, and I just have good memories from when I was playing myself, even though I didn’t do as well as Casper is doing.”
Ruud will play the winner of the Karen Khachanov – Nick Kyrgios match for a chance at reaching the final.
Casper Ruud on a potential matchup with Nick Kyrgios in the semifinals: “Let’s see if there will be some drama or not.”
The 23-year-old Norwegian is still in the hunt for the No. 1 spot. He will become No. 1 if he reaches the final or Carlos Alcaraz does not reach the final. If neither reach the final, Rafael Nadal remains at No. 1.
In the night session No. 27 seed Karen Khachanov took out No. 23 Nick Kyrgios in five sets to reach the US Open semifinals. The Russian beat the Australian 7-5, 4-6, 7-5, 6-7, 6-4.
More to follow….