Casper Ruud punched his ticket to the US Men's Clay Court Championship final on Saturday, holding off a stiff challenge from qualifier Daniel Elahi Galan to win their semi-final match 7-5, 6-2.
The 20-year-old Ruud will face Christian Garin of Chile. 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 incredible feeling to be in your first final".
Almost six years after winning the French Open Juniors title, the 22-year-old Garin finally broke through on the tour, spoiling Ruud's bid to become the first Norwegian victor.
"I'm disappointed because it was a very close match and one break in the last set went his way", Ruud said. "But even though it's been an fantastic week, I'm hungry to win the last match".
Garin will crack the top 50 in the world ranking for the first time.
Garin had been two points away from losing the opening set at 5-6 down to the American, but he recovered to register a 7-6 (7-2) 6-2 victory in the semifinals of the ATP 250 event in Texas. "He's been in a final before".
Wildcard Galan was scheduled to play in his second match of the day, having earlier outlasted Australian seventh seed Jordan Thompson 6-1 4-6 6-4 in the conclusion of their quarter-final which was halted by rain on Friday.