Ruud Beats Gaston For Gstaad Crown

Ruud has now won four ATP Tour titles in his career

Casper Ruud keeps on winning. The third seed overcame Frenchman Hugo Gaston 6-3, 6-2 on Sunday at the Swiss Open Gstaad to record a seventh straight victory and clinch his third ATP Tour title of the season.

The Norwegian came into the final full of confidence, having lifted the Nordea Open trophy in Bastad last week. Ruud was made to battle in a high-quality match, in which both players struck the ball with great depth from the baseline. The 22-year-old broke Gaston four times to claim victory in one hour and 36 minutes

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"It was tough," Ruud said. "Out of these past two weeks, this was definitely the toughest match for me against Hugo. He plays very fast and doesn't give you much rhythm. He can play drop shots and hit winners from anywhere. I really had to step up in the big points and luckily I was able to do so today."

Ruud has now claimed 24 clay-court victories this year and will move up to ninth place in the FedEx ATP Race To Turin on Monday. The 22-year-old has now won two titles in Switzerland this year, after capturing the Gonet Geneva Open crown in May.

"When you win a tournament you have to beat many good players on the way and it was the same this week," Ruud said. "Every match was good and every match I played well. When you are in the final of a tournament you will give everything no matter what, and that is what I did today."

In a lively opening, Ruud fended off five break points in his opening two service games as Gaston looked to be aggressive. Both stepped inside the baseline and dictated with their forehand during the first set, but Ruud played the bigger points better, saving nine of 10 break points he faced in the match. He raced into a 5-2 lead before sealing the set on serve.

Ruud carried this momentum with him in the second set as he started to read the Gaston drop shot successfully. The Norwegian won a mammoth eighth game, in which there were 10 deuces, to finally break Gaston's spirit as he moved 5-2 ahead. He then clinched victory with one of the three aces he hit in the match.

Gaston was competing in his first ATP Tour final on Sunday. The 20-year-old was trying to become the lowest-ranked Gstaad champion since the start of the FedEx ATP Rankings in 1973.

"Today it was a really tough match, Casper played so well," Gaston said. "I tried to do my best, but I am happy overall with my week. I hope I can continue like this. It is amazing to play in a ATP Tour final. Now I need some rest for my body, but I feel good."