Great first for Ruud, Berrettini killer

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They were four in the round of 16, but there won’t be a single one in the semis. Italy lost its last representative on Saturday with the defeat of Matteo Berrettini, eliminated in the quarterfinals by the Norwegian Casper Ruud, in three sets (4-6, 6-3, 7-6). A sweet revenge for Ruud, sharply beaten by the same Berretini two weeks ago in the 3rd round of the US Open.

A historic success since Casper Ruud becomes the first Norwegian to join the last four of a Masters 1000. He also overtakes his father, Christian Ruud, who had never managed to pass the quarter-finals stage in a Masters 1000 (level which he reached in Monte Carlo in 1997).

Everything was decided in the decisive tie-break of the last round. Matteo Berrettini led there four points to two before cornering. This is Casper Ruud’s 12th victory in 2020 on clay in 14 games. At the start of the year, the young Norwegian (21) won the Buenos Aires tournament before the cutoff due to the coronavirus crisis and reached the final in Santiago.

He could now face world number one Novak Djokovic for a place in the final on Sunday. But whatever happens, his Roman week will allow him to integrate the Top 30 for the first time in his career and obtain a seeded status at Roland Garros.

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