Casper Ruud Indian Wells 2021

Casper Ruud rolls past 2020 runner-up in Vienna to set Jannik Sinner showdown

Casper Ruud overcame a finalist from last year’s Vienna Open to move on to the quarter-finals and face the in-form Jannik Sinner.

The Norwegian took on Lorenzo Sonego of Italy for a shot at the last eight of the ATP 500 event.

Ruud claimed the opener 7-5, before the Italian responded 6-4 in the second. The fourth seeded Ruud hit back by the same scoreline in the decider to move on.

Next up, the 22-year-old will face another Italian talent in world number 11 Sinner. The 20-year-old is on a hot streak during this European indoor swing.

Sinner won back-to-back indoor titles in Sofia, Bulgaria and Antwerp, Belgium prior to Vienna, accumulating eight consecutive match wins.

Furthermore, Sinner has now won 10 successive indoor matches, all in straight sets, for 20 sets in a row.

Ruud and Sinner have met once before, at this very tournament a year ago. That day, Ruud was ranked 27th in the world, while Sinner entered as a wildcard and was ranked 43rd.

The younger Italian won out that day 7-6 (7-2), 6-3. He then lost to eventual champion Andrey Rublev in the second round.

Ruud and Sinner are not only rivals on the court but also in the race to qualify for the ATP Finals.

The Norwegian currently occupies the seventh qualification spot of eight in the ATP Race to Turin. Meanwhile, Sinner is one spot off qualification in 10th. Rafael Nadal is eighth, but he is out for the rest of the season so will not compete in Turin.

A victory for Sinner would see him overtake Hubert Hurkacz and Nadal to eighth, just 90 points behind Ruud. Should he go on to win the tournament, he would overtake Ruud by 230 points heading into the Paris Masters.