Ruud Conquers Estoril & Wins First Title Of 2023

Ruud Conquers Estoril & Wins First Title Of 2023

by Alfredo Bassanelli

Last updated

Casper Ruud forgot the slow start of the season at the 2023 Estoril Open and returned to winning ways.

Clay-court ATP 250 tournaments are somehow special for the Norwegian. In his career, he won ten titles and nine of those came on the clay courts, with the majority also from the ATP 250 events. Therefore, when he was entering the 2023 Estoril Open, he had his eyes on the top prize despite a bad start to the season.

After beating the defending champion Sebastian Baez, and surviving a difficult test against in-form Quentin Halys, the world no. 5 took on Miomir Kecmanovic from Serbia, who was yet to lose a set in Portugal this week.

Ruud didn't wait around and flew into the match in style. He used two of the three break points that he had and quickly built a 5-1 lead. The Norwegian felt no pressure when serving for the set, winning the game to love and taking the first set 6-2.

But he surely felt the pressure multiple times in the second set. He had five break points, but also his opponent had three chances to break. However, neither of the players could do it and so the set had to be decided in a tie-break.

Kecmanovic couldn't step up and so Ruud used his chances and won the tie-break 7-3 to take his first title of the 2023 season. On Monday, he will move to fourth place in the ATP Rankings and he had time also to joke with his opponent and good friend after the final.

“Congrats to Misha for both finals in singles and doubles. You’re such a tough competitor and a good friend. I hope we can play more finals. I’m not gonna say you’ll probably win the next, but at some point, I hope you win one if we ever play again.”


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