After three straight semi-final losses, Casper Ruud soared into his first final of 2021 with a dominant 6-3, 6-2 win over Pablo Andujar at the Gonet Geneva Open on Friday.
The World No. 24 was appearing in his fourth semi-final after deep runs in Madrid, Munich and Monte-Carlo. All 12 of the Norwegian’s semi-final appearances have come on clay.
The 22-year-old has had a stellar season so far with a 19-6 record and four wins over Top 20 opponents (Pablo Carreno Busta, Diego Schwartzman, Felix Auger-Aliassime and Stefanos Tstisipas).
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Ruud faces second seed Denis Shapovalov or qualifier Pablo Cuevas in Saturday’s final. It will be his fourth career final; he’s 1-2 with one title in Buenos Aires last year.
Earlier in the week, Andujar scored the biggest win of his career over Roger Federer. This marked his first tour-level semi-final since Gstaad in 2019 and his fifteenth overall (all on clay).
In the first set, Ruud capitalised on an early long game to break Andujar and set the tone. His relentless aggressive groundstrokes forced the 35-year-old Spaniard to make more errors than he normally would. Ruud’s excellent serving put even more pressure on Andujar — he won 74 per cent of his service points and faced zero break points.
Ruud converted his first break-point chance in the second set to go up 3-1. He’d quickly wrap up in the win 80 minutes with Andujar netting an overhead on match point.