Casper Ruud romps to 50th season victory keeping ATP Finals push on track
Casper Ruud clinched a 50th win of his 2021 season as the Norwegian maintains momentum towards qualifying for his first ATP Finals.
The world number eight overcame Lloyd Harris in the opening round of the Erste Bank Open in Vienna to hold strong in his quest for Turin.
Ruud ousted Harris 7-5, 7-6 (7-2) in a tight affair. There was only one break point opportunity in the whole match, coming on the Harris serve in the first set, Ruud taking his chance to claim the opener.
Moreover, Ruud hit just 12 unforced errors across the match, playing clinically throughout.
“That’s always the plan,” he said in his post-match interview. “That’s the strength of my game. The way I play the game is to get as many balls [as possible] in.
“I came out with a lot of energy. I think it was good for me to stay home last week. I’ve felt good in my body…I’m very happy with my performance.”
The 22-year-old is playing for the first time since Indian Wells, passing up the Kremlin Cup and European Open last week.
With Hubert Hurkacz out of the Vienna Open to Andy Murray, Ruud has an opportunity to open up more ground between himself and the Pole in the race to the ATP Finals.
“I know it’s the sprint now kind of of the race, at the end of the year. I know it’s only a couple of weeks left.
“So I will still try to forget that I’m tired and keep on pushing.”
Ruud will next take on either German Dominik Koepfer or 2020 finalist Lorenzo Sonego in pursuit of his 51st win in 2021.
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