Casper Ruud stands just one win away from duplicating the title treble of Andy Murray as the Norwegian moved into the final at Kitzbuehel on Friday.
Ruud, who has already pocketed tournament wins at Bastad and Gstaad in the past two weeks, could duplicate Murray’s Asian sweep of 2011.
A decade ago, the Scot won Bangkok, Tokyo (over Rafael Nadal) and followed up with the Shanghai Masters.
Ruud booked his place in the alpine title match as he survived a weather delay to progress past Frenchman Arthur Rinderknech 6-3, 7-6(7) in a semi-final which required only an hour and three-quarters of time on court in addition to several hours of rain stoppage.
The Scandinavian ace will make a play for the fifth title of his career against Spain’s Pedro Martinez, who put out German Daniel Altmair 4-6, 6-3, 6-3.
Ruud has now clocked an 11th consecutive victory since a Wimbledon first round loss in June.
Ruud has shown his devastating form on clay, winning Geneva prior to Roland Garros before he went on his summer European tear.
“When I won in Gstaad, I was already thinking about it (three in a row) a little – maybe I can try and get a hat trick. That would be unbelievable,” he said.
“And now I have fought my way to the final here, and I have the chance to play for it tomorrow. I will try to fight even more again.”
Ruud needed an hour and three-quarters to move through to the final.
“I played steady the whole match and with few mistakes. That was the plan all along, to try to feed him with a lot of balls as much as possible,” the top seed said.
“He has a lot of big weapons, but sometimes when he plays it can be high-risk and there can be mistakes. I think I did the plan very well.”