Cameron Norrie was unable to put the ‘cherry on the cake’ following his excellent run into the final of the San Diego Open which included wins over Dan Evans, Denis Shapovalov and the top seeded Andrey Rublev, as Casper Ruud squashed it mercilessly.
This year I’ve been perfect in finals, five of five and playing against good players in all of them Casper Ruud
The young Norwegian hammered Norrie 6-0 6-2 to claim his first hard court title while improving his career tally to six and fifth of the 2021 season.
While Norrie has shown some excellent form to reach his fifth final of the season, he was unable to deploy a game plan to stop his opponent from basically brushing him aside.
Ruud, the world No.10, wrapped up the opening set in just 27-minutes allowing Norrie just three service points in the opening set, one on his first serve!
Having suffered a bagel, Norrie, world ranked 26, started the second set better by cutting down his unforced errors but even that small ‘recovery’ was unable to slow Ruud down who broke for 4-2 to start his final run to the finish line.
The victory puts Ruud ahead of Novak Djokovic, Daniil Medvedev and Alexander Zverev who have currently won four titles this year.
As far as Ruud is concerned though, that stat is just an amusing fact.
“It’s a fun thing to say it, but obviously Daniil and Novak have bigger titles, so I wouldn’t mind switching up with them if I had an opportunity to switch five 250s to three Slams and a 250 Novak has. It’s a bit higher level, but that’s fine. I think that’s more impressive obviously than five 250s, but I will take it,” a realistic Ruud commented.
“It would be fun to end the year with the most titles, I cannot lie about that.”
Ruud who took out Andy Murray in his opening match and Grigor Dimitrov in a tight semi-final and now holds a 6-2 win-loss record in finals, added:
“I tried to be playing really good in finals knowing it’s now or never. This is the time to bring your ‘A’ game.
“This year I’ve been perfect in finals, five of five and playing against good players in all of them.”
His previous titles were in Buenos Aires, Geneva, Bastad, Gstaad, and Kitzbuhel, all on clay while his best Grand Slam result was recorded in 2019 when he made the third round of the US Open while at Masters 1000 level, he has yet to get past the second round.
But while Norrie was crushed in the final, there was better news for Britain in the doubles final which was won by Neal Skupski and Joe Salisbury who took the title with a 7-6(2) 3-6 10-5 victory over Aussie John Peers and Slovak Filip Polasek.
“A great week for us,” said Salisbury. “Going into it, the goal was to win the tournament, but we didn’t know what to expect. We hadn’t played together for three years.”
Meanwhile, Neal’s brother Ken Skupski won the Sofia Open doubles title in Bulgaria alongside countryman Jonny O’Mara, overcoming the third seeds from Austria Oliver Marach and Philipp Oswald 6-3 6-4 in the final.
In the singles Italian Jannik Sinner defeated second seed Gael Monfils of France 6-3 6-4 to successfully defend his title in Bulgaria and boost his chances of qualifying for the Nitto ATP Finals next month in Turin (14-21 November) rising to 10th on the Race To Turin leader-board.