Ruud Marches Into Gstaad Final
Third seed Casper Ruud’s dominant clay-court run continued on Saturday at the Swiss Open Gstaad as he defeated Czech qualifier Vit Kopriva 6-3, 6-0 to reach his second ATP Tour final in as many weeks.
The Norwegian, who lifted the Nordea Open trophy last week, was made to battle against Kopriva in the first set. Both struck the ball well from the baseline, but Ruud was more consistent as he raced away in the second set to advance in 74 minutes.
"I have been having high motivation and a good mentality these past few weeks," Ruud said. "It is the last chance I get to play on clay before the clay season is done for me. I am playing good tennis with good intensity. The ball is bouncing really high, and with the high altitude. It suites me well.
"I am excited. It is not always you are playing in finals, so it is a special feeling. I need to think what I did well the last time in Switzerland in Geneva, which was also against a lefty and a young player. It will be a tough match, Gaston is young and I will have to be on the top of my game to have a chance."
The 22-year-old has now claimed 23 clay-court wins this year and will move up to ninth place in the FedEx ATP Race To Turin on Monday. Ruud won the Gonet Geneva Open title (d. Shapovalov) in May, and all 14 of his ATP Tour semi-finals have come on clay.
Ruud will be aiming to capture a fourth ATP Tour title of his career against Frenchman Hugo Gaston on Sunday, after the World No. 155 advanced to his first tour-level final with a 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 victory over Laslo Djere.
Both Kopriva and Ruud broke in a lively start, in which Kopriva matched the third seed from the baseline. The Czech stepped inside the baseline throughout the first set as he tried to force Ruud back. However, the World No. 14 started to find his range as the set went on and broke in the eighth game when Kopriva hit a forehand long. Ruud then dictated in the second set. He hit his forehand with great depth and pace as he forced Kopriva into more errors to advance.The World No. 249 Kopriva was making his ATP Tour debut this week. He shocked top-seeded Canadian Denis Shapovalov in the second round to become the lowest-ranked player to beat a Top 10 opponent since then World No. 698 Thanasi Kokkinakis defeated World No. 6 Milos Raonic at The Queen’s Club in 2017.