Ruud Makes History For Norway At Roland Garros
Casper Ruud came from behind against Lorenzo Sonego on Saturday and went the distance to advance to the Roland Garros fourth round for the first time. The sixth seed used a timely late surge to fend off the Italian, 6-2, 6-7(3), 1-6, 6-4, 6-3.
Ruud is the first Norwegian to reach the Roland Garros fourth round. The 23-year-old reached the third round each of the past three years, while his father Christian Ruud reached that stage in 1995 and 1999. The father-and-son duo are the only Norwegians to have progressed that far at the clay-court Grand Slam.
Sonego was six points from victory at 4-4, 30/30 in the fourth set, but Ruud played some of his best tennis to win six of the next seven games and set himself on course for victory. He scored his fifth break on his ninth break point with a forehand winner to edge ahead 3-1 in the deciding set, then lost just two points in his next three service games to close out the milestone win.
The steady Ruud finished the match with a clean 39-21 winners-to-errors count, while Sonego filled the stat sheet as he attempted to force the action, finishing with 62 winners and 47 unforced errors.
While the Norwegian advances to the fourth round at a Grand Slam for the second time (2021 Australian Open), Sonego was bidding for his third Grand Slam fourth round after reaching that stage at Roland Garros in 2020 and Wimbledon in 2021. From 2020-22, Ruud leads the ATP Tour in clay-court wins with 63. He also tops the Tour in clay titles (7) and finals (8), including trophy runs in Buenos Aires and Geneva this season.
Ruud first broke into the Top 10 of the Pepperstone ATP Rankings last September, his reward for a breakout season that included five titles (four on clay) behind a perfect 5-0 record in finals. He reached a career-high of No. 7 in April after reaching the Miami ATP Masters 1000 final, the 10th and biggest title match of his career.
His Roland Garros breakthrough is far from the first time Ruud had made history for Norway. He is also the first Norwegian to break into the Top 10, win an ATP Tour title, reach an ATP Masters 1000 final and qualify for Nitto ATP Finals.