Ruud Extends Swiss Streak As Fritz Begins Bid For 1st Clay Title In Geneva

Dimitrov also advances at clay-court ATP 250
May 24, 2023
Gonet Geneva Open – Jean-Luc Auboeuf
Casper Ruud powers a backhand against J.J. Wolf on Wednesday in Geneva. By ATP Staff

The Swiss clay continues to be a happy hunting ground for Casper Ruud.

The World No. 4 kicked off his Gonet Geneva Open campaign in style on Wednesday with a 6-3, 7-5 second-round triumph against J.J. Wolf. An early break in the first set and a late break in the second were enough to set the 2021 and 2022 champion on the way to an 81-minute victory.

“I feel great. It’s a great win for me,” said Ruud in his on-court interview. “J.J. is a very aggressive, tough player to play against, a very tough opponent. I started the match great, got a break early, and also won in the end luckily… Happy to be here again tomorrow. It’s great to be back in Geneva and always great to play in front of the fans here again.”

With his win, Ruud improved to 9-0 in Geneva, and 17-0 in Swiss ATP Tour clay events. The Norwegian triumphed in Gstaad as well as Geneva in 2021 and 2022.

“The club is beautiful, the fans are great," said Ruud, when asked about why he so often showcases his best tennis in Geneva. "Switzerland is a country with a lot of tennis history now, with Roger, and Stan still playing. So it’s an incredible country to be in, I really like it. Good food, good people, a lot of beautiful views so there’s a lot of things to like about Geneva and it’s always a great feeling being here.”

Ruud will take on Nicolas Jarry next as he bids for his second tour-level title of the season (Estoril). Jarry advanced to the quarter-finals after his opponent Tallon Griekspoor was forced to withdraw due to a right ankle injury.

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Earlier on Wednesday, Taylor Fritz shook off a tricky start with a powerful finish en route to a 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 win against Marcos Giron in his opening match at the clay-court ATP 250.

Fritz prevailed in a hard-fought contest by delivering a dominant serving performance in the deciding set against his No. 74-ranked countryman. The second seed dropped just two points behind his delivery in the third set to claim victory in a match during which he also converted five of the 13 break points he earned.

The 25-year-old Fritz is now 8-1 against fellow Americans for the 2023 season. The Delray Beach champion is chasing his maiden ATP Tour title on clay on event debut this week in Geneva, where he will meet Ilya Ivashka in the quarter.finals.

Ivashka earlier came through a three-set battle of his own. The 29-year-old downed eighth seed Adrian Mannarino 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 to reach the quarter-finals for the second consecutive year.

Grigor Dimitrov enjoyed a more straightforward path to the last eight. The fourth seed brushed past Roberto Carballes Baena 6-1, 6-4 to reach his first tour-level quarter-final on clay this year. Dimitrov, who also reached the quarter-finals in Geneva in 2021, next plays Christopher O’Connell. The Australian led Bernabe Zapata Miralles 6-0, 3-0 when the Spaniard retired from the pair’s second-round clash.

“Honestly, it was a good day,” said Dimitrov. “I think I had a very good start to the match, especially the first four games. I was really on point, reading the game well, serving well, which helped a lot. I think today was also very tough conditions, all in all. It was windy, kind of swirly, a little bit cold… I felt all I had to do was be very composed, look after the points and simply follow [my] game plan.”

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