Geneva | Ruud favourite to keep title

Casper Ruud produced another strong performance and looked very comfortable on the clay in his quest to retain the Geneva Open title by defeating Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis after 104-minutes 6-4 7-6(3) to reach the semi-finals at the Gonet Geneva Open.

I expect it to be tough. Reilly with the serve and the altitude, it will be tough to return his serve. But I will do my best and see how I can do. I always enjoy playing against Reilly Casper Ruud

“It was difficult from the first to the last point,” Ruud said. “Thanasi is a player with big weapons, dangerous shots and he has been playing well this year. It is fun to see him back, I have known he has been struggling with injuries. It was the first time playing against him, so everything was new. I was able to break him at the end of the first set and play some good points in the tie-break and that sealed the match.”

Ruud captured his sixth clay-court title in Buenos Aires last February, before he enjoyed a run to the last four in Rome last week.

The 23-year-old will meet the 6’11” Reilly Opelka, the fourth seed, in the semi-finals after the American edged Dutchman Tallon Griekspoor 6-4 3-6 6-3 in 95-minutes firing 14 aces in the process.

“I expect it to be tough,” Ruud said of their forthcoming clash. “Reilly with the serve and the altitude, it will be tough to return his serve. But I will do my best and see how I can do. I always enjoy playing against Reilly. He is a similar age to myself and it will be another battle against him and hopefully it will be a good one.”

The 35-year-old French veteran Richard Gasquet backed up his upset victory over World No. 2 Daniil Medvedev by overcoming Pole Kamil Majchrzak 6-2 6-4 in 89-minutes to reach his first tour-level semi-final since last July, when he lost to Carlos Alcaraz in the Umag final.

Gasquet will next play Portugal’s Joao Sousa after the 33-year-old defeated Ilya Ivashka 7-5 7-5.






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