Casper Ruud into US Open final as first Grand Slam title, No. 1 ranking within reach

Casper Ruud claimed a 55-shot point to end the first set of his US Open semifinal

While building a big lead against Karen Khachanov and held on for a 7-6 (5), 6-2, 5-7, 6-2 victory Friday that put him in his second Grand Slam title match of the year.

When it ended, spectators in Arthur Ashe Stadium called out his name, "Ruuuuud!'' -- and it sounded sort of as if they were booing, rather than saluting.

Ruud, the runner-up to Rafael Nadal at the French Open in June, is a 23-year-old from Norway who can move from No. 7 to No. 1 in the rankings by winning the championship at Flushing Meadows on Sunday.

After Roland Garros, I was, of course, extremely happy, Ruud said, "but also humble enough to think that could be the only final of my career.''

His opponent in this final will be No. 3 Carlos Alcaraz of Spain or No. 26 Frances Tiafoe of the United States.

Like Ruud, Alcaraz will have a chance to unseat 2021 US Open champion Daniil Medvedev atop the rankings if he wins the tournament.

If Alcaraz loses in the semifinal, Ruud will end the US Open at No. 1 no matter what.

Ruud is coached by his father, former professional player Christian, and the game plan worked perfectly for most of the day against the 31st-ranked Khachanov.