Francisco Cerundolo held back his own nerves and a strong comeback from defending champion Casper Ruud to upset a second round and take his first Top 10 win at the Nordea Open in Bastad on Wednesday afternoon.
Cerundolo broke Roland Garros finalist Ruuds three times to beat a 6-4, 3-6, 7-5 winner at the ATP 250 event in Sweden. Despite Ruud, the world’s number 5, ramping up after a slow start to put pressure on the 23-year-old Argentine, Cerundolo took a decisive break in the 12th game of the third set and reached the quarter-finals in Bastad for the first time.
I feel great, I’m really happy, Cerundolo said after the game. It’s great to get my first Top 10 win. It was the best year so far in my career. He is a finalist of the French Open and was the defending champion here, so it was a big challenge for me and I’m glad I went through it.”
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) July 13, 2022
Cerundolo and Ruud’s only previous meeting took place in the semifinals of the Miami Open hosted by Itau in March. The Norwegian was a comfortable straight-set winner on that occasion, but Cerundolo was clinical at key moments on Wednesday as Ruud struggled to find his rhythm in his first game on clay since falling against Rafael Nadal in the Roland Garros championship game in early June. .
I think the key was to be offensive and try to dictate the point,” Cerundolo said. “Playing intelligently with my forehand and trying to put it on the defensive.
It’s always hard to beat the best players. I got tight at the end, but I stayed there and got the ball in, and I’m really happy.
35 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings, Cerundolo then takes on Aslan Karatsev as he pursues his third semifinal on tour of 2022. Karatsev, 28, was a 6-2, 6-fourth second round winner against Hugo Gaston in Sweden to reach his first Tour quarterfinal since Marseille in February.
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Earlier on Wednesday, Pablo Carreno Busta took his 250th tour-level win with a hard-fought 4-6, 7-6(5), 7-5 win against 2016 champion Albert Ramos-Vinolas.
Both players broke their opponents’ serve five times in a chaotic second round, but it was Carreno Busta who had the upper hand to go 4-0 on clay against fellow Spaniard Ramos-Vinolas. decisive series. The fifth seed is looking to advance to the semi-finals in Bastad for the first time on what is his fifth appearance at the ATP 250 event.
Carreno Busta then takes on third-seeded Diego Schwartzman, who ended home interest in the draw with a 7-5, 6-3 second round win against Elias Ymer. Schwartzman, who reached this year’s Tour finals on clay in Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro, will make his second appearance in Bastad after reaching the quarter-finals on his debut in 2017.
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