Casper Ruud completed the last-four line-up at the ATP finals on Friday, setting up a meeting with holder Daniil Medvedev after a 2-6, 7-5, 7-6(5) victory over Andrey Rublev.
The 22-year-old Norwegian qualifies as runner-up from the Green Group as world number one Novak Djokovic, who takes on Cameron Norrie later in Turin, is already through and faces Alexander Zverev for a place in the final.
The match was a straight shootout for a last-four place, with world number five Rublev the favourite having won his four previous matches against Ruud.
The Russian duly drew first blood, securing a double break early on and took the opening set comfortably by winning 92% of his first service points.
Ruud, who came from a set down to beat Norrie on Wednesday, looked to be in trouble when he was broken early in the second. However, he became braver by stepping up to the net more to break straight back.
That courage was rewarded with the second set as Ruud found a way to return Rublev’s fearsome serve and give himself a chance of facing Medvedev.
The decider was almost a mirror of the previous set as Rublev broke at 3-2, only for Ruud to immediately draw level with a break. The set went to a suitably dramatic tiebreak, where Ruud sealed his last-four spot with an ace.
Whatever happens in the semi-final this weekend, it has been a remarkable year for Ruud who won five tour singles titles and achieved his highest world ranking of eighth last month.
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