Ruud, Garin advance to US Men’s Clay Court final
HOUSTON (AP) — Trying to become the first Norwegian champion in ATP World Tour history, Casper Ruud beat qualifier Daniel Elahi Galan of Colombia 7-5, 6-2 on Saturday to reach the U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship.
The 20-year-old Ruud will face Christian Garin of Chile. The 22-year Garin beat American Sam Querrey 7-6 (2), 6-2.
Ruud’s father, Christian, won the River Oaks International exhibition tournament on these grounds in 1996. Christian Ruud, who was in the stands Saturday, was the last player from Norway to make an ATP final, at Bastad, Sweden, in 1995.
“It’s an amazing feeling to be in your first final. It’s what we work hard for,” Ruud said. “But even though it’s been an amazing week, I’m hungry to win the last match.”
Garin also is seeking his first tour title.
Ruud overcame a 5-2 first-set deficit, requiring assistance from a trainer for neck discomfort early in the match.
Garin was a first-time finalist in Sao Paolo last month, beating Ruud in the semifinals.
“He’s the favorite,” Ruud said. “He’s been in a final before.”
Galan completed his rain-interrupted quarterfinal match against Australian Jordan Thompson on Saturday, winning 1-6, 6-4, 6-4.
There was a 1 1/2-hour delay between the two semifinals when another downpour drenched the court.