Casper Ruud claimed one of the biggest wins of his career on Thursday to the disappointment of an on-form Stefanos Tsitsipas, who lost 7-6(4), 6-4 and was eliminated from the Mutua Madrid Open.
Tsitsipas is the leader in the FedEx ATP Race To Turin, having lifted his maiden Masters 1000 trophy in Monte-Carlo and reaching the final in Barcelona, where he held championship point against Rafael Nadal in the final before losing.
“He is one of the best players this year on the Tour, one of the ones who has won the most matches. He’s won his first Masters 1000 in Monte-Carlo. Barcelona he was very close to getting the title there, as well,” Ruud said of Tsitsipas.
“But the conditions are a bit different here than other clay courts with the fast shots, the ball traveling faster through the air because of the altitude. You get a lot of free points with the serve that you don’t usually [get] on the clay courts. I think that also today went a bit in my advantage.
“I felt like he was doing some mistakes that he doesn’t always do. I was just trying to take care of the chances that I got.”
Ruud is into the quarter-finals of his third consecutive clay-court ATP Masters 1000 event.
Stefanos Tsitsipas expertly won the Monte Carlo Masters a few weeks a go, without dropping a set against Andrey Rublev. The win brought his first title of the year and sixth overall.
“Let your dreams be your wings,” Tsitsipas said on social media after his win. “Monte-Carlo thank you for all the small things that add to the journey! Appreciation is a wonderful thing.”