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– Has made me even hungrier

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Casper Ruud in action against Tomas Martin Etcheverry in Saturday’s semi-final in the Barcelona Open on the ATP tour. Photo: Joan Monfort / AP / NTB

Of NTB | 20.04.2024 16:10:22

Sport: The Snarøya man progressed with the set numbers 7-6 (8-6), 6-4 on Spanish red clay. A lot of hard work was needed to secure the final ticket.

In both sets, Ruud connected the move by breaking the Argentine Etcheverry, but only to be broken immediately in the next game. Despite a lot of messy play, he still stood as the winner.

The victory was Ruud’s 28th on the ATP tour so far this year. There are three more than the next man on the list of players with the most individual victories in 2024. He is also the one with the most finals (4), but you have to go back to April last year to find his last title achievement.

– The three final losses have only made me even hungrier. Last week I probably put a lot of pressure on myself. I am at my best when I am calm and not thinking too much, said Ruud in the victory interview with the organizer.

With victory, Ruud will take his first title at a higher level than the ten he has won, all of which had ATP250 status. The Barcelona Open is at the 500 level.

In the first set, Ruud broke to 4-2 right after the match was stopped as a result of a medical incident in the stands.

– He is lightning fast in place and sets the racket for a direct forehand winner. Casper takes the first shot out here on Pista Rafa Nadal, exclaimed TV 2’s tennis commentator Sverre Krogh Sundbø.

– In a completely adventurous way, Casper manages to land a set he doesn’t really deserve. He leads 4-2 and plays brilliantly before the quality drops somewhat enormously. It is impressive the way he comes back in the tiebreak, said Sundbø.

Ruud played more solidly in the 2nd set and served home the final place after breaking to 3-2. The set started with the players breaking each other.

– I was a bit lucky today, but it was a high-quality match. It probably had the best level of the ones I’ve played here in Barcelona, ​​and that’s a good sign. Hopefully I can top it tomorrow, said Ruud after the victory.

On Sunday, Ruud will meet either Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas or Serbian Dusan Lajovic for the trophy duel. It happens a week after he lost the final of the Monte-Carlo Masters.

Ruud did not take care of the lead. He looked to be in control in the next game, but messed it up and was broken back. It was the start of a tough period for the Norwegian, who nevertheless found a way to a set win.

(© NTB)

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