Ruud Made To Work Hard For Opening Victory At Indian Wells Open By Klein

Ruud Made To Work Hard For Opening Victory At Indian Wells Open By Klein

by Jordan Reynolds

Casper Ruud is through to the next round at the Indian Wells Open but both sets were competitive against Lukas Klein.

The 25-year-old entered the opening Masters 1000 event of the season on the ATP Tour with some momentum. Ruud reached the final in Acapulco last week, where he was defeated by Alex de Minaur.

This was the first ATP 500 final of Ruud's career. In addition, he also made the final in Los Cabos the week before Acapulco, but he could not claim the title there either. Ruud lost to Jordan Thompson on that occasion.

Despite the undoubted frustration he will have felt from not winning either final, those were still very positive signs for Ruud. The Norwegian can be confident that this year will be a better one than 2023.

Klein was a dangerous first-round opponent. He has a powerful game that causes issues when it is firing. The fans saw much of that ability in two enjoyable sets, but Ruud did enough to handle the Slovakian's challenge.

Klein showed no fear from the beginning of the match. He struck the ball cleanly and tried to not let Ruud settle into a rhythm. The Slovakian saved a break point in the fourth game with some of that powerful hitting.

A pivotal moment in the first set came in the fifth game. Klein had five break points but was unable to convert any of them, due to a combination of unforced errors and some dogged determination from Ruud.

The three-time Grand Slam runner-up capitalized in the 10th game of the set. Klein's game suddenly deteriorated and he was broken to love. This meant Ruud claimed the opening set 6-4.

There were limited opportunities for both players to break in the second set. This was due to excellent serving from both players, with each player equally impressive with their second shot after the serve.

Ruud did manage to create two break points, while Klein had one such opportunity. But neither player was able to take those chances, which meant a tiebreak was needed to decide the winner of the second set.

The Norwegian was rock solid in the tiebreak, and also produced a moment of magic at 5-3 up. Klein thought he had made it 5-4 with a very good volley, but Ruud somehow hit an amazing lob on the run that was too good for his opponent.

Ruud took the tiebreak 7-4 to seal a 6-4 7-6 victory. Klein deserves a lot of credit for his performance and he hit 34 winners in total. However, the two-time French Open champion's momentum continues with this triumph.


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