Norwegian Casper Ruud beat Russian Karen Khachanov 7-6, 6-2, 5-7, 6-2 in a minute under three hours on Friday evening to reach the US Open final – his second Grand Slam of the year.
Khachanov hit 15 aces in an enthralling encounter but Ruud’s first serve was his winner as he claimed 57 out of 69 points behind that serve, hitting 53 winners and 34 unforced errors to overpower Khachanov.
The pair traded breaks in the first set before a tiebreak went Ruud’s way after a 55-stroke rally.
Ruud took control in then second with so prefect tennis Khachanov was unable to match but the Russian bounced back to take the third before Ruud resumed control to take out the match.
“After Roland Garros, I was, of course, extremely happy,” Ruud said. “But also humble enough to think that could be my only final of my career.”
Ruud, 23, will become the new world No.1 on Sunday off he wins the event.
Khachanov couldn’t recall a 55-shot rally in his career.
“I felt pumped in a way that we had this long rally, we were moving both,” he said.
“I felt like, ‘OK, it’s a painful one to lose a set with this point.’ On the other side I felt like, ‘OK, now we’re moving a lot, let’s keep on going.’”