Match Report

Ruud Surges Past Schwartzman In Indian Wells Opener

Norrie ends Wu run, faces Berrettini or Daniel next
March 10, 2023
Peter Staples/ATP Tour
Casper Ruud defeats Diego Schwartzman on Friday in the pair's second-round clash in Indian Wells. By ATP Staff

Are the desert conditions what Casper Ruud needs to ignite his 2023 season?

The Norwegian delivered a clinical opening performance to dispatch Diego Schwartzman 6-2, 6-3 on Friday at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells. After a modest run of results by his high standards across January's Australian swing and in Acapulco last week, Ruud appeared to enjoy the slower conditions in southern California. With plenty of time to settle behind his huge forehand, the third seed powered 19 winners past Schwartzman en route to an 88-minute victory.

“I’m very happy with today’s win,” said Ruud after reducing his ATP Head2Head series deficit against Schwartzman to 4-5. “Straight sets, and 6-2, 6-3 might look comfortable, but it never is against Diego. You really have to play well. That’s what I did today.

"He could have played better, I could have probably played better as well, but today I played good enough and happy to get through in two straight sets against a player I’ve struggled with in the past.”

The four-time ATP Tour titlist Schwartzman had also arrived at the ATP Masters 1000 event seeking a deep run to kick-start his year after early-season struggles. The Argentine dropped just three games in his first-round win against Federico Coria, but World No. 4 Ruud proved too powerful as he converted three of five break points to secure his fourth win against Schwartzman in the pair’s past five tour-level meetings.

“I feel a little bit better physically [than in Australia],” said Ruud, when asked about the effects of a training block he undertook for much of February. “In Acapulco [last week] I was struggling a little bit with the humidity, it was tough for me to feel great out there on court, but here it is a different climate. It’s dryer and feels easier for me to move around.

“I feel like you do a training block for four or five weeks and you might not get the exact result you want right away. It might take a week, it might take a month, before you feel physically fresh and ready. I think I’m starting to get there. Mentally as well, I tried to be very focused today and not focus too much on his game. I focused on my game and what I needed to do and I did that well.”

Ruud is now 4-4 for the year and will look to build on Friday’s win in a third-round clash against qualifier Cristian Garin, who raced to a 6-4, 6-0 triumph against 29th seed Yoshihito Nishioka.

Cameron Norrie also advanced to the third round in convincing fashion with a 6-2, 6-4 win against qualifier Wu Tung-Lin. The Briton, who claimed the biggest title of his career in Indian Wells in 2021, converted four of eight break points en route to a 73-minute victory that ended the dream run of World No. 175 Wu.

The win drew Norrie level with Daniil Medvedev on a Tour-leading 19 wins for 2023, although Medvedev can move back ahead if he can defeat Brandon Nakashima in his second-round match later on Friday. The 27-year-old Norrie now has a 10-3 career record in Indian Wells, where he will face 20th seed Matteo Berrettini or qualifier Taro Daniel for a spot in the fourth round.

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