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Ruud ends Berrettini’s Italian Open hopes

This content was published 2 years ago. It may refer to a past edition of the Internazionali d’Italia.

Casper Ruud recovered from a set down to become the first Norwegian player to reach a Masters-1000 semi-final at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia, edging past Italy’s Matteo Berrettini 4-6 6-3 7-6(5).

“It feels great, obviously. These things that all players work hard for every day in practice and try to make it far in the big tournaments and big events. This is my first time in the semifinals, and today was even my first time in the quarterfinals. I’m just enjoying the moment, I guess. I’m in a good flow. I have gained good confidence in my game this week. You know, Rome, I feel well here. It’s great clay courts. It’s the way I think the clay court should be,” said Ruud.

Berrettini had defeated the Norwegian in straight sets at the US Open earlier this month but it was an entirely different affair on the clay court at the Foro Italico, the two players battling it out on Court Pietrangeli for two hours 57 minutes and having to be separated by a third set tiebreak.

Ruud lost his opening service game of the first set and could never recover the deficit, some impressive serving and powerful forehands helping the No.4 seed maintain his advantage throughout the 55-minute opener.

The world No.34 had the momentum in the second set, racing to a 3-0 lead thanks to some impressive forehand winners and managing to extract forehand errors from his opponent, who was bidding to become the first Italian man to reach the last four at the Italian Open since Filippo Volandri in 2007, as he wrapped up the second set in 46 minutes.

Ruud started the decider in the same vein, prevailing in an 11-point opening game when a forehand winner down the line secured the break. He was unable to hold on to his early lead however, Berrettini displaying good net coverage as he worked his way back into the set and levelled the score at 3-3.

A tiebreak ensued, Ruud fighting back from 5-3 down to win the last four points of the match and take victory when the Italian netted at backhand on match point.

Awaiting Ruud in the semi-finals will be either world No.1 Novak Djokovic or qualifier Dominik Koepfer.

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