Miami Open 2022: Casper Ruud beats Alexander Zverev, advances to semis

Zverev did make an outstanding comeback in the second set after losing the first, but his opponent on the day was just too good.

Casper Ruud during his match at the Miami Open. (Image: Twitter/Miami Open)

Norwegian tennis star Casper Ruud recorded an impressive victory against Alexander Zverev in the quarter-final of the 2022 Miami Open on Thursday. The scoreline at the end of the match was 6-3, 1-6, 6-3 in Ruud’s favour. Zverev did make an outstanding comeback in the second set after losing the first, but his opponent on the day was just too good. Ruud has advanced to the semi-final of the competition and will face Argentine tennis player Francisco Cerundolo.

“It feels good and it means a lot. This is my first semi-final in a Masters 1000 on hard courts, so that’s a good feeling. I’m very happy to do it here in Miami,” the Norwegian said after the match. “I’ve felt good the couple weeks I’ve been here practising and the matches have felt very good. I want to of course keep going. Today was my toughest challenge yet of the tournament and on Friday will be another big one. I hope that I can take what I’ve learned from my three previous [Masters 1000] semi-finals and bring it into Friday’s match.”

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Zverev and Ruud have faced each other three times so far but this was the first time the Norwegian has emerged victorious. It was the fifth Top 10 victory of his career as per ATP. “I think I’ve seen Sascha play better than he did today, but I took advantage of it,” Ruud said. “I was focussed, I was on top of my game and of course I had a little down period in the second, but I stayed focussed and served really well in the first and third sets. That was the key for the match, I think.”

The important moments

For a brief moment, it appeared that Ruud would breeze through that matchup. Throughout the first set, Zverev was a little tired and couldn’t do much against Ruud’s heavy topspin groundstrokes. Zverev saved two break points at 0-0 in the second set, the second of which came on a bold second-serve ace down the T. That instilled confidence in the two-time Nitto ATP Finals champion, and Zverev immediately raised his game and began firing from the baseline. Ruud struggled to regain control of the match after losing control of his solid game on the other side of the net.

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At 1-0 in the decider, he returned a massive 113mph second serve down the T and took advantage of the opportunity to play aggressively with his forehand, breaking Zverev’s serve for a 2-0 lead. From there, the seven-time ATP Tour champion regained his composure, and despite showing signs of nerves while serving at 4-2, he remained composed. Ruud hit his sixth ace before flashing a wide smile to the crowd after earning his best ATP ranking victory against the World No. 4.

Sportslumo Desk

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