Miami Open: Norway's Casper Ruud ends Francisco Cerundolo's dream run to reach first Masters finals

Miami, USAUpdated: Apr 02, 2022, 04:05 PM IST


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No. 6 seed Casper Ruud earned the first spot in the title match by defeating Francisco Cerundolo 6-4, 6-1 in Friday's semifinals.

Norway's Casper Ruud ended Francisco Cerundolo's unexpected run to the Miami Open semi-finals with a 6-4 6-1 win on Friday.

Eighth-ranked Ruud converted a late breakpoint in the opening set after nerves appeared to come into play for world number 103 Cerundolo, who was featured in his first Masters 1000 tournament main draw.

Ruud, who like the Argentine is 23, fended off four break points early in the second set and after holding serve to love for a 4-1 lead was able to cruise to the finish.

Ruud thumped his sixth ace on match point to reach his first final at a Masters 1000 event, where he will face either defending champion Hubert Hurkacz of Poland or 14th-seeded Spanish teenager Carlos Alcaraz, who play later on Friday.

"It was quite a tough match even though the scoreline said two straight sets," said Ruud, who was known as a clay court specialist before excelling on hard courts this year.

"It was a physical match. The conditions here were very, very humid today. I was lucky I was able to pull through and didn't need to play a third set."

Despite the loss, the tournament was a breakthrough for Cerundolo, who is projected to rise to world number 51 when new rankings are released next week.