Casper Ruud has completed the semi-final line up for the ATP Finals after coming from a set down to beat Andrey Rublev 2-6 7-5 7-6 (7-5) in Turin on Friday.
The 22-year-old, who is competing at the end of season event for the first time, will now face defending champion Daniil Medvedev (pictured) for a place in the final on Saturday after he claimed his first career victory over Rublev at the fifth attempt.
It was also Ruud’s first ever triumph over a top-10 player on a hard court, while he is also the first Norwegian to make it through to the knockout stages of the ATP Finals and the first Scandinavian to achieve the feat since Sweden’s Robin Soderling in 2009.
The meeting with Rublev was a winner-takes-all contest in the Green Group, with top seed Novak Djokovic having already confirmed his place in the semi-finals, while Cameron Norrie could no longer progress, with Ruud acknowledging that the pressure may have got the better of his Russian opponent.
“It’s tough, the court is playing very fast and Andrey rips the ball faster than anyone else,” said Ruud in his on-court interview.
“It’s not easy against him, he makes you run all the time so I had to fight fire with fire.
“Maybe he had the pressure on him in this match, he has beaten me four times and maybe he saw a good opportunity to reach the semi-finals.”
Ruud will face an uphill battle against US Open champion Medvedev in the last four as he has lost both his previous meetings with the world number two in straight sets, the most recent of which was at this year’s Mallorca Open.
Saturday’s other semi-final will see 20-time Grand Slam winner Djokovic, who is bidding to lift the ATP Finals for a record-equalling sixth time, take on another former champion Alexander Zverev, who beat the Serbian to the trophy back in 2018 (Djokovic 4/11, Zverev 2/1 – Match Betting).