Ruud Progresses At The Mexican Open After Tough Battle Against Eubanks

Ruud Progresses At The Mexican Open After Tough Battle Against Eubanks

by Jordan Reynolds

Casper Ruud is through to the second-round at the Mexican Open in Acapulco after beating Christopher Eubanks in three sets.

The three-time Grand Slam runner-up is playing in his second consecutive tournament in Mexico. Last week, he went all the way to the final in Los Cabos, but Ruud was stunned in the final by Jordan Thompson.

The Norwegian also endeared himself to the fans in Mexico after the Los Cabos final. Ruud did this by speaking Spanish during the trophy ceremony, which shocked both the crowd in the stadium and all tennis fans watching.

His first match since that final loss was a tricky one. The big-serving Eubanks has a very dangerous game, as he infamously showed during his run to the quarterfinal at Wimbledon last year.

Ruud will have hoped the somewhat slow courts in Acapulco would help him and make the match an easier ride. However, it did not turn out to be that simple for the Norwegian.

Ruud got off to the perfect start. He broke Eubanks' serve in the very first game of the match. The American did not immediately settle into his rhythm and he paid the price for it.

That was the last break of serve for a very long time in this contest. Ruud did create one more break point in the set, but Eubanks saved it. Yet, it did not matter, with Ruud only needing one break to take the opening set 6-4.

Neither player managed to create a single break point in the second set. Ruud was winning more points on return than Eubanks, but could not generate any chances. It meant a tiebreak was needed to decide the second set.

The key moment came in the 7th point in the tiebreak, when Eubanks rushed Ruud into an error to get a point on his serve. That was all he needed to take the tiebreak 7-5 and force a third set.

Both players held serve comfortably in the opening seven games of the deciding set, but that changed in game eight. Ruud created the first break point opportunities since the opening set and he did not miss his chance to go 5-3 up.

The Norwegian served it out to triumph 6-4 6-7 6-3. Ruud did not face a break point all match and he will be glad to overcome the awkward challenge posed by Eubanks.


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