Casper Ruud plays a backhand at French Open 2020

‘You need to be ready for anything against Fabio Fognini’, says Casper Ruud after reaching Monte Carlo semi-finals

Casper Ruud reached the semi-finals of the Monte Carlo Masters 2021 by beating defending champion Fabio Fognini on Friday.

The 22-year-old Norwegian prevailed 6-4, 6-3 over 2019 winner Fognini in the quarter-finals of the ATP Masters 1000 tournament. The world No. 27 will face either Rafael Nadal or Andrey Rublev in the semi-finals.

“It was a tough match today. It has been a great week for me so far. I have beaten good players and today was a very big challenge,” Ruud said in his post-match interview.

“Fabio is the defending champion here and he plays very tricky. He can hit winners from anywhere and you really need to be ready for anything to come at you.

“I was happy with the way I was able to stay steady and make him play an extra ball here and there to force an error out of his play. It’s a nice feeling to be in the semi-finals.

“He forces you to (commit) some more errors than maybe I wanted to play because he can fire off from both sides, forehands, backhands, down the line, drop shots. You really need to be on your toes and ready for anything to come.

“I think we have both played better tennis in our lives than this match but, at the end of the day, I was able to hit a couple more extra balls to force the errors out of his racket and also I stepped on some big points. That was the key for the win today.”

Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.