March 28, 2023

He was pushed all the way in a night-session thriller on Tuesday, but Casper Ruud is a Nitto ATP Finals semi-finalist once again.

The third seed prevailed 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(6) in a high-powered clash against Taylor Fritz at the season finale in Turin to confirm his progression from Green Group. The Norwegian backed up his opening victory against Felix Auger-Aliassime by holding his nerve in the deciding-set tie-break to claim a tense two-hour, 12-minute victory.

After the pair split an opening two sets largely dominated by serve, a moment of Fritz magic maintained parity in the decider as the American saved a break point at 2-2, 40/A with a stunning diving backhand volley. Yet Ruud stayed solid throughout the third set, facing no break points and producing some heavy-hitting in the tie-break to triumph in the pair’s first ATP Head2Head meeting.

Ruud is a three-time champion on the ATP Tour this season. The 23-year-old lifted trophies on clay in Buenos Aires, Geneva and Gstaad, and he will now compete in the Nitto ATP Finals for the second consecutive year. The Norwegian reached the same stage on tournament debut in 2021, when he fell to Daniil Medvedev.

More to follow…

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