(Casper Ruud-Yuichi Sugita 6–1, 6–3, 6–1) It took only ten minutes before Casper Ruud led 4-0. And there was never any doubt that the Norwegian would send his Japanese opponent out of the French Open.
Casper Ruud gave Japanese Sugita, who is ranked among the 100 best tennis players in the world, a lesson in gravel tennis from the start in the first round of the Grand Slam tournament in Paris. And it only took an hour and a half from the start of the match until Ruud had set his first match ball and easily settled the match in three straight sets.
– I am very happy with the match and he has full control all the way. It was a couple of games in the second set where he was a little unconcentrated, says dad Christian Ruud to Eurosport after the victory.
Ruud mowed over the opponent from the start and played with far greater weight in the strokes than the opponent. After only ten minutes it was 4-0 and only 12 minutes later Ruud had won the first set 6-1.
Ruud received treatment for a sore shoulder during the semifinal against Andrej Rublev in the tournament in Hamburg last week, but believed that a little rest after a hectic program should make the ailments unproblematic. When his first match in the French Open was underway, it did not look like the problem bothered Ruud.
– He did not go on everything he could on the serve and that is smart. He beat 40 winners, says sports director of the Tennis Association and Eurosport expert Øivind Sørvald after the match in the TV studio of the TV channel.
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Dad Christian Ruud pointed out that the courses are autumn-heavy due to the weather in Paris, which has been characterized by a wet and cold weather type lately. He would not guarantee anything if it was served for several hours in the first round match.
– I think the shoulder worked well. We are pleased that it was a short match and that the footwork seemed easy, says Christian Ruud.
But this never seemed to be a long afternoon for Ruud, who recently also got to meet world number one Novak Djokovic in the semifinals of the ATP 1000 tournament in Italy.
Within an hour, Ruud had taken the first two sets of the match. The second set was won by the Norwegian, who is now ranked number 25 in the world, 6-3,
And although Sugita gave better resistance throughout the match, Ruud showed what a class difference there was on the players through several battles of the highest class.
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Nor was the third set a boost for Ruud’s opponent. Sugita took some points as soon as Ruud lowered the level a bit in the game, but the Norwegian then kept up with several fantastic strokes. Thus, it did not take long before Ruud had also won the third set. For at the position 5-1, Ruud could serve home the match.
Now Tommy Paul is waiting in the second round. It is expected that this match will be played on Wednesday. The American is ranked number 58 in the world and has played well on gravel this year. The Ruud camp now expects the second round match to be anything but easy after the demonstration of power against Sugita.
– Tommy Paul is a good player and it will be a tough match, says Christian Ruud.
In the third round, third-seeded Dominic Thiem, who played the final of the US Open earlier in September, is a possible opponent. Last year, Ruud played until the 3rd round where he lost to Roger Federer.