Ruud Joins Exclusive Club After Reaching First ATP 500 Final On Hard Court

Ruud Joins Exclusive Club After Reaching First ATP 500 Final On Hard Court

by Nurein Ahmed

Casper Ruud achieved something quite extraordinary because not many players have done it in the current era.

The Norwegian produced a stunning comeback to beat Holger Rune in the all-Scandinavian semifinal clash at the Mexican Open. He trailed 2-4 in the deciding set but won four straight games to turn the match on its head.

Ruud will contest Saturday's final in Acapulco against defending champion Alex de Minaur, who earned a retirement win over British lefty Jack Draper. The head-ot-head between the pair is tied at 1-1, but this will be their first hard-court meeting on the ATP Tour.

The sixth-seeded Ruud has now advanced to a hard-court final of every level on tour. Ruud has contested for the title at an ATP 250, 500, 1000, year-end championships (ATP Finals), and Grand Slam and finds himself in pretty good company.

Ruud joins Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray, Dominic Thiem, Daniil Medvedev, Alexander Zverev, Stefanos Tsitsipas, and Jannik Sinner among active ATP players to have conquered this landmark.

But remarkably, only one of his ten titles has been won outside clay. He was the last man standing at the San Diego Open in 2021. Additionally, all ten career titles have come at the ATP 250 level. So, there will be plenty at stake for Ruud, who hopes to conclude the Mexican swing with a bang.

Just last week, he was beaten by an inspired Jordan Thompson in the Los Cabos final. But on the bright side, he is set to return to the ATP Top 10 again following his run to the final in Acapulco.

The other few times he lost a hard-court final of a big tournament was in Miami in 2022, when he fell to Carlos Alcaraz. The young Spaniard also denied him glory at the US Open that season.


You may also like