Ruud battles into semi-finals to end Italian hopes in Rome

Rome (AFP) –


Norway's Casper Ruud battled past Italian fourth seed Matteo Berrettini to reach the semi-finals of the Italian Open on Saturday.

The 21-year-old won through 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7/5) in the quarter-final on clay at the Foro Italico after having being eliminated by the Italian in the US Open third round.

The 34th-ranked Ruud will next play either world number one Novak Djokovic or German qualifier Dominik Koepfer for a place in the finals.

Ruud -- son of former tennis player Christian Ruud -- becomes the first Norwegian to reach the last four of a Masters tournament.

Berrettini's elimination ended home hopes in the tournament which will be open to a limited number of spectators from Sunday's semi-finals.