ATP

Ruud awakening for Zverev in Miami, Cerundolo progresses to semi-final

By Sports Desk March 30, 2022

Casper Ruud set up a semi-final with Francisco Cerundolo at the Miami Masters after he defeated Alexander Zverev 6-3 1-6 6-3 on Wednesday.

Ruud's heavy topspin game gave Zverev problems initially, contributing to a 94 per cent success rate from points on his first serve, while Zverev struggled to find rhythm on serve at 58 per cent.

Saving two break points in the opening game of the second seemed to spark Zverev into life, but Ruud was able to regroup and continue dominating from the baseline in the third to comfortably see his way through.

"It was great to get that break early on [in the third set] and I was able to keep it all the way out," Ruud said post-match. "I was serving well. I can thank my serving for the win today."

The Norweigian world number eight lost his first three ATP 1000 quarter-finals on hard court, but played with confidence on the back of a 75 per cent first-serve rate.

He will face Cerundolo, who also advanced into the semi-finals on Wednesday, after Jannik Sinner was forced to retire due to foot blisters. The Argentine was leading 4-1 in the first set after 23 minutes when Sinner called the match.

The world number 103 held a 0-2 record on hard courts prior to this week, but has now made his first ATP 1000 semi-final in as many attempts after progressing past Tallon Griekspoor, Reilly Opelka, Gael Monfils and Frances Tiafoe.

Cerundolo has enjoyed a strong start to 2022, with respective quarter-final and semi-final appearances on clay in Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro.

The winner of the upcoming semi-final will make their first ATP 1000 final appearance, while Ruud was able to beat Zverev at third time of asking, losing the opening two games head-to-head.

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