ATP

Ruud claims ATP Tour-leading fifth trophy in San Diego

By Sports Desk October 03, 2021

Casper Ruud rolled past Cameron Norrie at the San Diego Open for this fifth ATP Tour title of the season.

Ruud – the second seed – was too strong for Brit Norrie, winning 6-0 6-2 in Sunday's ATP 250 final.

Norway's Ruud earned his first hard-court trophy at the expense of Norrie and Tour-leading fifth title of 2021, ahead of world number one Novak Djokovic, US Open champion Daniil Medvedev and Olympic Games gold medallist Alexander Zverev (all four).

Ruud broke serve five times to boost his chances of qualifying for next month's ATP Finals in Turin.

"Special thanks to Rod, obviously the legend. I think you need to come to all my matches now because I'm playing really good when you come and watch," Ruud said after receiving the trophy from Rod Laver.

"I hope you will come to Indian Wells next week to watch, so let's see [what happens there]!"

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    The Norwegian prevailed 7-6 (7-5), 1-6, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 in an instant classic that lasted just over four hours on Court Suzanne Lenglen.

    Ruud knew he was in for a tough match after winning the tiebreak in the first set, and Davidovich Fokina fought back in brilliant fashion to take the second.

    The momentum swung back in Ruud’s favour in the third as he regained the lead in the match, but the Spaniard ensured they could not be separated as he forced a decider after another tight contest.

    Despite putting up a good fight, Davidovich Fokina failed to see out what would have been a stunning win, as Ruud edged one step closer to a potential first Roland Garros title.

    Next up for Ruud is Tomas Martin Etcheverry in the third round.

    Data Debrief: Ruud holds his nerve

    Ruud lost his first-ever Roland Garros second-round match (v Albert Ramos in 2018) but is unbeaten in his six matches at that stage of the French Open since.

    The Norwegian has now reached the third round at Roland Garros six times in his career, which is more than he has in all other three Grand Slams combined (two at the Australian Open, two at the US Open, 0 at Wimbledon). 

  • Sabalenka relishing 'great battle' with best friend Badosa at Roland-Garros Sabalenka relishing 'great battle' with best friend Badosa at Roland-Garros

    Aryna Sabalenka paid tribute to "great fighter" Paula Badosa and is relishing the opportunity to play her best friend on the WTA Tour in the French Open third round.

    The pair have endured contrasting fortunes in their opening two matches at Roland-Garros this week.

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    The reigning Australian Open champion - fresh from reaching successive clay-court finals in Madrid and Rome - cannot wait to face the Spaniard, but acknowledged their friendship will be put aside when they collide.

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    "It's always tough to play your friend, really your best friend on tour, but we know how to manage that. We know how to separate court and life. So, it's always a great battle, a great fight against her. I always enjoy playing against her."

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    Vondrousova's topsy-turvy match against Katie Volynets started on Wednesday before concluding on Thursday, with the number five seed coming out on top 0-6, 6-1, 6-4.

    The American started strongly, storming through the first set, but Vondrousova recovered well to take a commanding 4-1 lead before rain washed out the rest of the game.

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    Keys, meanwhile, won in straight sets against Mayar Sherif, holding out for a 6-0 7-6 (9-7) victory.

    The American cruised through the first game, enjoying three breaks, but a stern fightback from Sherif almost caused some problems.

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    Data Debrief: Vondrousova marches forward

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    She is also unbeaten against opponents ranked above 100 in the WTA since the start of 2023, going 10-0 against such competitors. 

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