Madrid Open: Casper Ruud stuns Stefanos Tsitsipas, reaches quarter-finals
Norway's Casper Ruud, on Thursday, stunned Stefanos Tsitsipas 7-6(4), 6-4 to reach the quarter-finals of the Mutua Madrid Open. The Norwegian, who had been win-less against top five opponents in the ATP Rankings previously, got the better of Tsitsipas this time. Notably, Ruud has now advanced to the quarter-finals of his third consecutive clay-court ATP Masters 1000 event. Here is more.
World number 22 Ruud played fearlessly against the fourth seed Tsitsipas. The former earned the lone break of serve in the second set to win after one hour and 34 minutes. "He is one of the best players this year on the Tour, one of the ones who has won the most matches. He's won his first Masters 1000 in Monte-Carlo," Ruud on Tsitsipas.
Ruud has entered the quarter-finals of his third consecutive clay-court ATP Masters 1000 event. Previously, he played the semi-finals of last year's International BNL d'Italia (Italian Open) and this season's Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters. Ruud was defeated by eventual champion Novak Djokovic in the semis of Italian Open. Meanwhile, he lost to Andrey Rublev in the semis of Monte-Carlo Masters, while Tsitsipas won the championship.
Ruud now has an opportunity to make the last four in the Madrid Open when he plays Alexander Bublik, who defeated Aslan Karatsev 6-4, 6-3 earlier in the day. The Norwegian won his only previous ATP head-to-head clash against Bublik in three sets in St. Petersburg two years ago. "I have to be prepared for everything tomorrow," said Ruud.
Elsewhere, Spanish maestro Rafael Nadal continued his chase for a record-extending sixth Madrid Open title. He defeated Australia's Alexei Popyrin 6-3, 6-3 to reach the quarter-finals on Thursday. The 34-year-old is now 10-0 against Australians, and 40-0 against qualifiers on clay. In the quarter-final clash, Nadal will play the 2018 champion Alexander Zverev, who recently outclassed Daniel Evans.