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Ruud set for U.S. Open quarterfinals clash with Berrettini

2022 US Open - Day 7

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 04: Casper Ruud of Norway returns a ball to Corentin Moutet of France during their Men’s Singles Fourth Round match on Day Seven of the 2022 US Open at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 04, 2022 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK - Casper Ruud still has a shot a becoming a U.S. Open champion - and the first Norwegian to hold the No. 1 ranking - with his first trip to the quarterfinals. He’ll take on 13th-seeded Italian Matteo Berrettini after both players won their fourth-round matches.

The fifth-seeded Ruud, already the first Norwegian man to appear in the third and fourth rounds at the U.S. Open, advanced with a 6-1, 6-2, 6-7 (4), 6-2 win over Corentin Moutet.

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

Ruud must reach the final for at least the opportunity to become the top-ranked player in men’s tennis. The 23-year-old Ruud, Rafael Nadal, Carlos Alcaraz and current No. 1 Daniil Medvedev are the only players who can end the tournament as the world’s top-ranked player. Ruud is ranked No. 7 in the world.

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

“It has been a dream of mine to play on this court at least one time in my career,” Ruud said during an on-court interview. “Now I have a win here as well, so I can tell my future kids and grandkids that I played here and that will be a fun story to tell. It was amazing.”

Also Sunday, defending champion and No. 1 seed Daniil Medvedev plays 23rd-seeded Nick Kyrgios in an Arthur Ashe Stadium showdown where the winner should be the heavy favorite to reach the final. No. 12 seed Coco Gauff plays Shuai Zhang. Gauff, a French Open finalist this year, is trying to reach the quarterfinals at the U.S. Open for the first time in her career.

Moutet dropped to 0-8 lifetime 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 fails to make it out of qualifying but gets into the main draw when someone withdraws) to reach the fourth round at the U.S. Open.

Berrettini, the 2021 Wimbledon runner-up, reached the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam tournament for the fifth straight time. He dropped out of Wimbledon in June because he tested positive for COVID-19 and he also missed the French Open.

Berrettini labored through most of the match but used 18 aces and six winning break points to advance.

“I’m really proud because I didn’t start the match the way I wanted to,” Berrettini said. “I was down a set and a break. I found the right energy. I have to say I was a little bit tired in the fourth, and he was playing unbelievable tennis. I lost the fourth, and I was like, `OK, now I’m going to give everything.”’

Ruud holds a 3-2 career edge over Berrettini.