Casper Ruud struggled to save four break points as he served out a 6-4, 6-3 win over Matteo Arnaldi which put the Norwegian into his first semi-final at the ATP Barcelona Open on Friday.

The world No. 6 who has played two Roland Garros finals finally got the job done in 94 minutes and set up a Saturday showdown with Argentine Tomas Martin Etcheverry, who defeated Brit Cam Norrie 7-6 (4), 7-6 (1) in their quarter-final.

Ruud advanced with 16 winners as he increased his season lead in the match-win category to 27, two ahead of Jannik Sinner.

He is the first Scandinavian to reach the final four here since Robin Soderling inĀ 2010.

“It was not easy playing for the semis,” Ruud said. “I was a bit nervous trying to close it out.

“But I was able to come through after some crazy rallies and get back into the game.

It was back and forth at the beginning of the match, we were both feeling our games.

“I’m just glad to be standing here as the winner.”

The 25-year-old will be playing his second consecutive final after Monte Carlo last weekend when he reached the final against Stefanos Tsitsipas, the Barcelona top seed.

The Catalan semi-final is his fifth of the season; the defeat of Arnaldi meant revenge for a loss last season in Madrid to the Italian.