Learning to manage five-set matches the key for Ruud

Ruud, ranked seventh in the world, defeated 13th seed Matteo Berrettini 6-1, 6-4, 7-6(4) on Tuesday to reach the last four at the U.S. Open for the first time, three months after he reached the French Open final.

Casper Ruud of Norway reacts after defeating Italy’s Matteo Berrettini during the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open.

Casper Ruud of Norway reacts after defeating Italy’s Matteo Berrettini during the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open. | Photo Credit: Seth Wenig

Ruud, ranked seventh in the world, defeated 13th seed Matteo Berrettini 6-1, 6-4, 7-6(4) on Tuesday to reach the last four at the U.S. Open for the first time, three months after he reached the French Open final.

Casper Ruud said learning how to come through five-set matches had been key to his success this year after the Norwegian reached the U.S. Open semifinals and moved a step closer to becoming world number one.

Ruud, ranked seventh in the world, defeated 13th seed Matteo Berrettini 6-1, 6-4, 7-6(4) on Tuesday to reach the last four at the U.S. Open for the first time, three months after he reached the French Open final.

“During Paris, something clicked, and I feel like this year, I have sort of figured out in the better way how to play five sets and knowing that it’s very different from playing best-of-three sets,” said the 23-year-old, who missed the Australian Open due to injury.

“It often becomes much longer matches and a lot of back and forth. Also sometimes realising or knowing that you can sort of let one set go every once in a while to save some energy for the rest of the sets.

“So I think, yeah, I matured and learned how to play five sets better than I did last year.”

Claycourt specialist Ruud was surprised to reach the semifinals of the New York Grand Slam, where he will face Karen Khachanov, but said playing the final of the Masters 1000 event in Miami helped him believe he can dig deep in hardcourt tournaments.

“Just the fact that maybe I prioritised 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,” he added.

Ruud will become world number one on Monday if wins his maiden Grand Slam trophy but he can also take top spot if he reaches the final and Carlos Alcaraz does not. 

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