Ruud ready for semis in Rome after thriller – landed his 15th break ball

Ruud had as many as 15 break chances in the match but only managed to take advantage of the last of them. The break paved the way for victory in a game he won with the numbers 7-6 (9-7), 7-5.

The opponent, on the other hand, got only two break chances.

Denis Shapovalov beat Rafael Nadal on Thursday night but was tougher against fifth-seeded Ruud. There were two different styles of play that came together.

The left-handed Canadian likes to decide early and often goes to the net, while Ruud prefers to have a few exchanges of balls before deciding. They had met once before, and even then Ruud emerged victorious in last year’s final in Geneva.

The players followed one another until 4-3. Ruud then had four chances to break Shapovalov’s serve, but the opponent managed to save themselves.

The first set ended in a tie-break. Ruud was lucky who managed to “break” with a lucky net at 8-7 and was able to serve home the first shot.

In the second set, the players also followed each other closely. Ruud got his first break of serve at the 3-3 position but didn’t take advantage of the chance. In the 5-5 position, he had the opportunity to break nine times before going up to 6-5. He easily served at home the set and the match.

Ruud will likely face world number one Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals, but the Serbian must first beat Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime.

Alec Dittman

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