Casper Ruud was in scintillating form again at the Mutua Madrid Open, something that is starting to become a familiar sight. After defeating Stefanos Tsitsipas, the Norwegian maintained his momentum to do the same to Kazakh player Alexander Bublik (7-5, 6-1).
The world No. 22, who polished his tennis on the courts of the Rafa Nadal Academy, is starting to show signs of it in his clay game. Both here in Madrid and a few days ago at the Monte Carlo ATP Masters 1000 he reached the semi-finals and he appears to be close to getting his hands on a significant title.
The winner of the ATP event in Buenos Aires in 2020 is in Madrid for the third time in his career but this is his first time competing in the main draw. Today’s result means he will play another semi-final with the conviction of being able to play for the title on Sunday on the Caja Mágica’s centre court.
The 22-year-old player said after the match that he still feels “new at this level and reaching these stages of tournaments, but I’m showing myself that it’s not a one off”. He also spoke about the shoulder injury he was carrying in Monte Carlo. “I had a few problems with my arm and that’s why I tried not to force it so much in that area and, so far, it’s working very well here”.
Youth is no excuse for one of the most promising players on tour. “Winning gives you a lot of confidence, it gives you belief in yourself that you can compete against these players and even beat them. It’s the best confidence boost you can give yourself”. He also stated that in the future he would like to be among the best on tour: “when you beat players in the Top 10 you feel closer to achieving the goal than when you are beaten by lower ranked players”.