Ruud Moves Closer To Making History In Santiago
Casper Ruud made history two weeks ago by becoming the first Norwegian to win an ATP Tour title in Buenos Aires. Now, the 21-year-old is only two wins from lifting a second tour-level trophy.
The second-seeded Ruud defeated seventh-seeded Argentine Federico Delbonis 7-5, 7-5 on Friday to reach the semi-finals of the Chile Dove Men+Care Open. Ruud will face third seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas for a spot in the final.
"It was obviously tough... it was a very close match. I was ready for it before going out there... Delbonis is a very good [player] and especially a very good clay-court player," Ruud said. "I really wanted to win this time."
Ruud levelled his ATP Head2Head series with the Argentine at 1-1 after losing against the lefty in Sao Paulo three years ago. The Norwegian triumphed in a three-setter in Western & Southern Open qualifying last year, which does not count as a tour-level match.
The World No. 38 has now defeated two straight lefties after eliminating home favourite Alejandro Tabilo in the second round. He will try to make it three in a row against Ramos-Vinolas.
"It's different, definitely, to play three lefties in a row. It's not something you get to do every tournament, so it's a little bit different, a new experience. But I think it's okay," said Ruud, who began the week with a 3-8 tour-level record against lefties. "In my career I've had some problems playing against left-handed players, but I'm getting better and better every time I play them."
Ruud's next opponent, Ramos-Vinolas, beat eighth seed Thiago Monteiro 6-4, 6-4 in one hour and 42 minutes.
The Spaniard has enjoyed plenty of success on clay, reaching the final of the 2017 Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters. Seven of the eight ATP Tour championship matches he has reached (2-6) have come on clay.
Ramos-Vinolas only won four more points than his Brazilian opponent, but he saved two of the three break points he faced to advance.
Top seed Cristian Garin carried a personal-best 10-match winning streak into his quarter-final against #NextGenATP Brazilian Thiago Seyboth Wild. But after Seyboth Wild took the first set 7-6(1), Garin retired due to a left leg injury.
The Chilean was trying to thrill his home crowd with a title after triumphing in Cordoba and Rio de Janeiro, but instead Seyboth Wild moves into his first ATP Tour semi-final. The 19-year-old only owned one tour-level win before earning a victory at last week's Rio Open presented by Claro.
Seyboth Wild will face World No. 297 Renzo Olivo for a spot in the final. The Argentine, who saved two match points in a final-set tie-break against Pablo Cuevas in the second round, battled past sixth seed Hugo Dellien 3-6, 7-6(5), 7-5 after two hours and 50 minutes.