Norwegian tennis star Casper Ruud has had his best season on Tour rising to the top ten. This came on the back of impressive showings in the ATP1000s in which he made the quarters in Canada, Cincinnati and Indian Wells. Here he faces Russian Andrey Rublev who needs no intro making the ATP Championships for the second season running although his form has cooled in 2021. He reached the final in Cincinnati though. You got to know one thing when playing Rublev, when he gets his teeth into a set it is hard to come back. In the first set the Russian was gobbling that Ruud first serve just like at 3-1 Rublev(15-30). You have got to keep Rublev second guessing himself early in the set. How was the serving on both sides? Excellent. Andrey had 84% first serves in and Ruud 74%. Besides the poor first set Ruud was immaculately serving to Rublev’s forehand side on the deuce court. Andrey was big with the kicker to Casper’s backhand on the ad court. Watch set point 5-2(40-0). The ball bounces awkwardly as Casper tees up the shot forcing the shank shot from the Norwegian.

Casper’s comeback was swift in the second set breaking back in the fourth game at 2-1 Rublev in what was the Russian’s most careless service game. The backhand on deuce adv Ruud landing outside the baseline. This was Rublev’s undoing in this match too many unforced errors. Netting the forehand at 6-5(15-40) shows the pressure that serving on second serve can give a player. Look how short the serve is? Ball lending half way into the service box so Rublev was immediately on the defensive. How about this for a point of the match? 3-3(40-15).

Two chances for Andrey to win it , one with the forehand with Ruud scrambling to get to the ball whilst deep away from the baseline. Two, the overhead smash straight at Casper although I must say the Norwegian gambled a bit by moving early. Crunch time, third set 5-5 down break point on deuce you need a huge first serve and Ruud delivered to get out of jail. That hold proved crucial as Casper would win a very close breaker 7-5. Rublev fought best he could like at 1-1 showing his forehand can be devastating. Fortunate with the net cord at 5-3 Ruud though but that proved to a temporary reprieve. Ruud, who also won against Cam Norrie, through to the semis where he will meet Daniil Medvedev. The other semi is between favorite Novak Djokovic against Sascha Zverev.