(Casper Ruud – Tommy Paul 6–1, 1–6, 6–3, 1–6, 6–3) Casper Ruud (21) had to dig deep to fight on against American Tommy Paul (23). In the next round of the French Open, he meets world number three Dominic Thiem.
It took five sets and more than 2.5 hours of play to separate Ruud and Paul. The 21-year-old from Norway climbed to 25th place in the world rankings earlier this week, and the upturn continued with another victory on the red gravel.
– I am very happy. It was a roller coaster, says dad Christian Ruud to Eurosport and continues:
– It is high quality, and I think Paul is a very good tennis player. But Casper knows he’s in good shape. He stepped up in the fifth set and takes the last set in raw style, I think.
In the next round, the Austrian Dominic Thiem is waiting for Ruud. He is ranked as the world’s third best player – behind Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, but ahead of Roger Federer. Ruud and Thiem last met in July. At that time, the Austrian won 7-5, 7-6 in sets.
– He is a very good player and is in the flow zone. He has good self-confidence and it is no easy task. But I think Casper can open up a bit against Thiem, says Christian Ruud.
The French Open is broadcast on Eurosport and Dplay.
In his second round match at the French Open earlier Wednesday, Thiem made short work of Jack Sock through three sets.
Thiem, who is called “The Prince of Gravel”, won his first Grand Slam tournament earlier this year when he went to the top of the US Open. He beat German Alexander Zverev in the final.
The match against Thiem will be another big meeting for Ruud. It is only a week and a half since he met world number one Djokovic. The Norwegian impressed against the Serb, but had to give up after two sets. Last year, Ruud met Swiss Federer, and the collection of matches against the very best in the world is nearing completion. The 21-year-old trains at Rafael Nadal’s academy, but has not yet met the legendary Spaniard in an official match. Nadal is also called “The King of Gravel”.
Casper Ruud delivered very impressive tennis during the first set of the second round of the French Open. The Norwegian played with opponent Tommy Paul, who seemed to have met his superior in Paris.
But things can change quickly in tennis, because the American hit back powerfully in the second set. Suddenly it was Ruud who was swept off the field. Paul used his dreaded serve, and the Norwegian 21-year-old probably felt a little on his nerves after losing the set 1-6.
However, Ruud kept his composure and raised the game in the third set. The opponents were evenly matched, but at the position 4-3 Ruud finally broke the American’s serve. In the next game, he served the set home.
23-year-old Paul, who is ranked 58th in the world, however, continued to impress and quickly broke Ruud’s serve in the fourth set. The American kept the Norwegian at a comfortable distance through the set and it soon became clear that a fifth and decisive set was needed.
When one of the players first broke the serve, there was apparently never a way back for the opponent. It was Ruud who had the upper hand through the last set, but several breakballs were misused. After a long game at the position 4-3 to Ruud, he finally succeeds. Shortly afterwards, he served in the victory and advancement to the third round.
Wednesday’s victory over Paul was a revenge from their previous meeting in 2017. Ruud struggled violently with the August heat in Washington in the USA, and had to throw in the towel with sunburn.
In Paris, the temperature was far more comfortable, and this time Ruud showed who is really the better of the two.