Casper Ruud had to bring himself back down to earth on a rainy Tuesday as he worked to close out a 6-1, 6-4, 7-6(4) quarter-final defeat of  Matteo Berrettini at the US Open.

The Norwegian fifth seed who is now a solid possibility to grab the No. 1 ranking for a first time if circumstances fall into place, said he needed to calm down in the final stages against his Italian opponent.

“I got a bit nervous at the end of the second set – things were going almost too well,” the June Roland Garros finalist said.

“You can get over-excited and think you can walk on water. I had to calm down a bit.”

Ruud won 11 of the first 13 games as he sprinted away against Berrettini, who managed a dozen aces but was weighed down by 47 unforced errors.

Ruud played a more balanced game, ending with 30 winners and 23 unforced errors as he broke five times from 14 opportunities.

I had probably my best start ever,” he said. It was all going my way.

“I was hitting all of my sports when I needed to and taking care of all the chances that I got.

The Norwegian coached by his father, a former ATP player, is within a win of possibly earning the top ranking position. But that is a possibility that Ruud is not thinking much about.

If the fifth seed can reach the final, he would claim No. 1 depending on results from Spanish rival Carlos Alcaraz, also in the chase.

The 14th-ranked Berrettini remains without a win over a Top 10 player at a Grand Slam, losing eight times.

“He had the best start possible, and I helped him,” the Italian said. “He played a really good match and I played a really bad match.

“Nothing I can say more than the worst day of the tournament probably in the most important moment (for me)

“I fought through, but it wasn’t enough. I wasn’t feeling my game. I wasn’t feeling my mindset. I think he was feeling really good.

“Congrats to him. I told him. He also said he played an unbelievable match.”

Main photo:-Casper Ruud wins today, keeping alive his hopes for ATP No. 1 ranking next Monday – by Roger Parker International Sports Fotos Ltd