Geneva | Ruud in final for second consecutive year

Casper Ruud has maintained his run of undefeated matches at the Geneva Open to reach the title round for a second consecutive year where he hopes to successfully defend his title in final preparation for the French Open which starts on Sunday.

I am looking forward to the final tomorrow, It was a tough match today against Opelka like it always is Casper Ruud

Standing in the Norwegian’s way is Portugal’s Joao Sousa, a 33-yer-old tennis journeyman currently ranked 79, who dispatched the French veteran 35-year-old Richard Gasquet, 6-2 6-2 to reach the final.

Ruud, the world number eight, required 90-minutes to fell the 6’11” American Reilly Opelka 7-6(2) 7-5 in his chase for an 8th title, securing his victory after withstanding 12 aces from his opponent in a hard-fought battle for the final place.

Opelka served up his first and only double fault on the first break point of the contest to leave Ruud serving for the match which he duly did, sealing the victory in front of a capacity 3,000 crowd, with his fourth ace of the contest.

The Norwegian 23-year-old, who beat Canada’s Denis Shapovalov in the Geneva final last year, demonstrated great agility against Opelka as he soaked up the World No. 18’s thunderous groundstrokes in the lively conditions to extend his perfect record against the fourth seed to 4-0.

“I am looking forward to the final tomorrow,” Ruud said. “It was a tough match today against Opelka like it always is. The serve he has is incredibly difficult to return here, with the altitude. I was able to take the small chances I had, and I feel like I served well and was solid, with not too many mistakes. That is key in matches like this.”

Ruud has yet to drop a set this week and is one match away from emulating Stan Wawrinka’s achievement of winning the title in consecutive years (2016 and 2017).

He has also won five of the past 250 clay-court events he has played and should extend that record when he faces Sousa in Saturday’s final the 12th Tour final of his career which includes a previous visit to the title-round in the 2015 Geneva tournament.

Sousa’s last title success on clay was the Estoril Open in 2018 while his most recent title (of the four to his credit) came last February on the outdoor hard courts of the Maharashtra Open in Pune, India.

Joao Sousa is a surprise finalist

Mackenzie Sweetnam/Getty Images



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