US Open: Ruud faces a duel with Berrettini


Casper Ruud still has a shot at becoming US Open champion – and the first Norwegian to hold the No. 1 ranking – with his maiden trip to the quarterfinals. He will take on 13th-seeded Italy’s Matteo Berrettini after both players won their fourth-round matches on Sunday.

Fifth-seeded Ruud, already the first Norwegian to appear in the third and fourth rounds at the US Open, prevailed in a 6-1 6-2 6-7 (4) 6-2 win over Corentin Moutet .

Berrettini reached the quarterfinals of the US Open with a 3-6, 7-6(2), 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 win over Alejandro Davidovich Fokina of Spain.

Ruud needs to reach the final to at least have a chance of becoming the top-ranked player in men’s tennis. 23-year-old Ruud, Rafael Nadal, Carlos Alcaraz and current No. 1 Daniil Medvedev are the only players who can finish the tournament as the best player in the world. Ruud is number 7 in the world.

Ruudd used 43 winners to earn victory for his first game at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

“It was a dream of mine to play on this pitch at least once in my career,” said Ruud during an on-pitch interview. “Now I have a win here too, so I can tell my future children and grandchildren that I played here and it will be a fun story to tell. It was amazing.”

Also on Sunday, defending champion and no. Coco Gauff, No. 12, plays against Shuai Zhang. Gauff, a finalist at the French Open this year, is attempting to reach the quarterfinals at the US Open for the first time in her career.

Moutet fell to 0-8 for life against top-10 opponents but the Frenchman’s week at Flushing Meadows was already a success. He became the first lucky loser (a player who doesn’t make it out of qualification but gets into the main draw if someone withdraws) to reach the fourth round at the US Open.

Berrettini, the 2021 Wimbledon runner-up, has reached the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam tournament for the fifth consecutive year. He dropped out of Wimbledon in June after testing positive for COVID-19 and he also missed the French Open.

Berrettini worked his way through most of the game but used 18 aces and six break points to progress.

“I’m really proud because I didn’t start the game the way I wanted,” said Berrettini. “I had lost a set and a break. I have found the right energy. I have to say I was a bit tired in the fourth and he played incredible tennis. I lost the fourth and I was like, ‘OK, now I’m going to give it my all.’

Ruud has a 3-2 career advantage over Berrettini.