Casper Ruud won without trembling against Andrey Rublev in the semi-final of the Masters.
The Norwegian Casper Ruud, 4th in the world, qualified on Saturday in Turin for the Masters final by beating the Russian Andrey Rublev (7th) 6-2, 6-4, and will face Novak Djokovic for the title on Sunday.
At 23, Ruud, who played in two Grand Slam finals this year (Roland-Garros and US Open), is participating for the second time in the closing tournament bringing together the eight best players of the season. He had been eliminated in the semi-finals last year.
As usual, Rublev was explosive from the first exchanges. He won his first white service game and only dropped a point on his second. Meanwhile, Ruud found it harder to contain the Russian on his own face-offs, but he won them to make it 2-2.
And there, Rublev suddenly imploded: he conceded eight games in a row to the point of crying in his towel at the change of sides at 3-0 in the second set and sending his coach signs of helplessness and misunderstanding, more than irritation.
Led 6-2, 4-0, he finally managed to hold his serve, with the strong support of the dumbfounded public to see the scorer of Daniil Medvedev and Stéfanos Tsitsipás so apathetic (23 unforced errors in total against 8 for Ruud and 16 winning moves against 17).
As Ruud served for the match, Rublev suddenly found his punch. Surprised to see his opponent suddenly become effective again, it was the Norwegian who seemed stunned and unable to counter the wave. Rublev thus took a serve from Ruud to come back to 5-3 then to 5-4.
But the younger of the two came to his senses to quietly win his service game one last time and make it to the final.
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