By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Tuesday, September 6, 2022
Flushing Meadows, NY— Casper Ruud is in the midst of a breakout season at the Grand Slams. The Norwegian tour de force surged past Matteo Berrettini on Tuesday in New York, 6-1, 6-4, 7-6(4), to reach his second major semifinal of the season and become the first player from Norway to ever reach a US Open semifinal.
He will await the winner of tonight’s quarterfinal between Nick Kyrgios and Karen Khachanov. If it is Kyrgios that he faces, there will be plenty of chatter about the pair’s past.
The Aussie was defaulted from a match against Ruud in Rome in 2019 after a chair-throwing incident, and the vitriol spilled over to social media afterwards.
Kyrgios called Ruud out for celebrating after the bizarre victory, and later Ruud upped the ante, saying “It’s his problem if he’s an idiot on court.”
Kyrgios hit back hard to that.
“Hey Casper Ruud, next time you have something to say, I would appreciate you say it to my face, I’m sure you wouldn’t run your mouth so much after that,” Kyrgios said on Twitter. “Until then I will continue to rather watch paint dry then watch you play tennis, boring af.”
Kyrgios leveled the pair’s head to head this year with a breezy 6-4, 6-4 win over Ruud.
“I hear no talking now,” Kyrgios said into the camera after the win. “None!”
Ruud says the pair have been on much better terms since the original incident in Rome, and he had high praise for the Aussie’s resurgence this season.
“I think he has, first of all, taken big steps in his tennis this year, because he has proven that obviously he has been a very, very big talent as a teenager already and beaten the big guys already since he was 18, 19 years old, but this year he has proven that he can do it for many matches in a row, weeks in a row, week in and week out to be there and play very well,” he said.
Ruud is impressed by the revival.
“That’s exciting to see. It seems that he’s really gone in for it this year and giving it a real shot, because he was close to being top 10 some years back, and then I’m not sure what happened after, but he sort of fell down a little bit in the rankings and has been a little bit up and down.
“But now he’s back to I think where his game belongs and where he belongs in the ranking. It’s unfortunate he didn’t get points for Wimbledon, because otherwise he would be top 15 again and probably close to top 10 with his result here. We all know that he’s dangerous.”
Since he was asked, he responded to the differences between himself and the Aussie, sayingt that they’ve gotten along better recently, even if there isn’t really a friendship between them.
“On the personal note, there is not that much of a relationship,” he said. “I mean, we didn’t say hi in the locker room for some time, but we do now, so it’s better. There was a time where it was a bit probably tense after things were said back and forth, but he actually came to me in Laver Cup last year and congratulated me when I won my match, which was nice.
“I think it’s easier now, and things have been forgotten. Things have been said, but there is no need to dwell on the past. I mean, he’s an exciting player always to watch, and you never know what’s gonna come out of his racquet or his mouth, but in the end, at least he came to me and said that he was happy to see me play well. So that was nice.”