Ruud Avenges Loss to Tsitsipas, Claims Biggest Career Title in Barcelona
Casper Ruud after securing a place in the final at the Real Club de Tenis Barcelona, Spain. April 20, 2024. Photo credit: Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell / Pedro Salado.

World number six Casper Ruud breaks new ground in Barcelona, holding off fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas to claim his biggest career title on tour at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell on Sunday.

Third seed Casper Ruud avenged last week’s loss to World No. 7 Stefanos Tsitsipas in Monte-Carlo, achieving a 7-5, 6-3 triumph after one hour and 29 minutes at the Real Club de Tenis Barcelona to lift his maiden trophy on the ATP 500 level, his 10th on the clay surface, the 11th overall.

After the final contest, Ruud outlined: “Honestly, this has been worth the wait. A lot of finals I’ve lost have been tough, a bit disappointing, of course.”

Any time you reach a final, it’s, nonetheless, a good week, so you can’t be too hard on yourself, but this one has been a long time coming,” he added.

I’m super happy to do it here in Barcelona in front of a packed stadium and on Rafa Nadal Court. It’s special to me because I looked up to him all my childhood, came here myself, as a 13-year-old boy, to watch him and the others play here. It’s a great feeling.”

Meeting in back-to-back weeks for the first time this season, Norway’s number one halted the Greek player’s 10-match winning streak, recovering from a slow start to the championship match.

Ruud stayed perfect in Barcelona, having not dropped a lone set all week, on his way to emerge victorious at the prestigious tournament.

The first Scandinavian to win the Barcelona title since 1988 made an erratic start to the opener, hitting a double fault to kick action, ultimately dropping his serve to hand Tsitsipas the early lead.

Through the first two games, his timing seemed off, committing five unforced errors to just one from his opponent, who held his serve to inch ahead 2-0.

The third game, however, would see him serve flawlessly to narrow the gap to 1-2.

Dictating on his forehand from the other side of the net, Tsitsipas stayed solid behind his serve, wisely charging at the net, extending his advantage.

Meanwhile, Ruud grew into the match, raising the quality of his shotmaking while making the most of his chances.

In the sixth game, the Greek double-faulted and misfired a smash, opening the door to conversation.

The Norwegian moved on to convert his first break in the set and held to turn around the tie.

From there, the set went with serves until Ruud took a pivotal break in the 12th game to seal the opener 7-5 in 51 minutes.

Coming from a break down, the Monte-Carlo Masters runner-up held his ground, firing 12 winners and 10 unforced errors to his rival 8 and 9, respectively.

With the wind in his sails, the 25-year-old stayed the course, forcing the Athens native to commit costly mistakes, which eventually would see the former breaking in the fourth game, opening a 3-1 lead in the second set.

After holding in the fifth game, Ruud kicked up a level, adding pressure on the three-time Monte-Carlo Masters champion, who fended off two break points, striking an ace to hold serve 2-4.

Nonetheless, Tsitsipas could not halt the eventual champion, who found great consistency for most of the championship match, closing out 6-3.

He finished with 19 winners and 15 unforced errors compared to the former world number three, 17 and 25, respectively.

Moreover, he won 78 percent of the first serve points and 64 on his second delivery.

Cecilia demartini
Sports Pundit staff writer @ceci_2812
Cecilia is a writer and journalist, passionate about motorsport and tennis.Her articles are published in newspapers and international online publications.

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