Ruud’s Swiss triumph as Musetti breaks through

NORWEGIAN Casper Ruud has claimed his eighth ATP Tour title in 18 months, taking out the Swiss Open overnight. The world number five has made a remarkable rise up the rankings, and back on his preferred clay surface, defeated returning Italian Matteo Berrettini in three hard-fought sets. Berrettini missed Wimbledon due to a positive COVID-19 test, but the second seed still took it up to the Norwegian, winning the first set 6-4, before going down 4-6 7-6 6-2.

The pair had played four times before, splitting the results 2-2, with Berrettini the most recent winner in their head-to-head, defeating Ruud in straight sets at the Madrid 1000 Masters in 2021. Two of the previous three outings were at Grand Slams, with Ruud winning at 2019 Roland Garros, and Berrettini winning at the 2020 US Open, both in straight sets. On this occasion, the ATP 250 Swiss Open final went the full distance on Roy Emerson Arena, with Ruud needing two hours and 34 minutes to defeat the determined world number 15, who was coming off a strong victory over Grand Slam winner Dominic Thiem.

The Italian saved all three break point opportunities in the first set while serving four aces, and also winning 77 and 54 per cent of his first and second serve points. He broke Ruud once, and that was enough to claim the first set. It looked as if Berrettini might win in straight sets when the match went to a tiebreaker and the Italian was serving even better – with four aces and an 84 and 77 per cent serving success rate – not even facing a break point.

To Ruud’s credit, he saved all three he faced too, then ground out a terrific 7-4 second set tiebreak win. That gave the world number five confidence to go on with it, winning 82 and 78 per cent of his service points in the decider, as Berrettini dropped right off to 65 and 33 per cent, allowing Ruud to break twice from eight chances, and not face a break point himself as he ran away with the victory, and title, 6-2 in the third set. It ended Berrettini’s streak of two straight titles – albeit on grass – or 12 straight wins.

The Swiss Open was Ruud’s third title of 2022, following on from his successes at Geneva and Buenos Aires. The Norwegian was also the defending champion in Gstaad, one of his five titles last year. Though this year it almost looked like it was not going to be as successful, with the Norwegian in real strife midway through the match.

“I changed [things] up a little bit in the third set especially, which helped,” Ruud said post-match. “The games and the points go by here fast. “If you are not ready and focused, you can get broken or you can break, because the conditions allow you to.

“So it was key for me to hold my serve, I did that in the second set. “Saving those break points was very important for me and everything went in my favour in the tie-break. “So that was a bit fortunate. “I just tried to keep that momentum going in the third set and I was able to get a break and play better and better throughout the third set.”

In an equally outstanding match of tennis, Italian young gun Lorenzo Musetti broke through for his first ATP Tour title, defeating red-hot Spaniard, Carlos Alcaraz. The unseeded Italian has shown glimpses throughout his short career, but stepped up when it counted in a four-hour thriller against the top seed. He won 77 per cent of his first serve points, and while Alcaraz was stronger overall on serve – with 66 and 73 per cent of his first and second serve points off a 70 per cent clip, Musetti took the break points when he could to achieve three breaks to two and win 6-4 6-7 6-4.

Over in Italy, the final of the Palermo Ladies Open took place, with Romanian sixth seed Irina-Camelia Begu taking it out rather comfortably on the scoreboard, defeating home nation hope Lucia Bronzetti, 6-2 6-2. Despite the scoreline, Begu needed 93 minutes to win, showing Bronzetti’s fight, with the Romanian breaking six times to two, and recording first and second serve success rates of 68 and 56 per cent to claim her first title in five years and fifth overall.


Hamburg – ATP 500 | Clay


Lorenzo Musetti (ITA) defeated [1] Carlos Alcaraz (ESP) 6-4 6-7 6-4

Gstaad – ATP 250 | Clay


[1] Casper Ruud (NOR) defeated [2] Matteo Berrettini (ITA) 4-6 7-6 6-2

Palermo – WTA 250 | Clay


[6] Irina-Camelia Begu (ROU) defeated Lucia Bronzetti (ITA)

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