(Casper Ruud – Daniil Medvedev 4-6, 2-6) Casper Ruud (22) fought bravely, but eventually had to give up against Daniil Medvedev (25) in the semifinals of the ATP playoffs.
– It was a brilliant match. From what I’ve seen of Casper this year, he’s really one of the smartest on the tour. Before the hardcourt season started, everyone talked about him as a gravel specialist, but he is here in the semifinals of the ATP playoffs for the first time. I lost all the matches in the group stage the first time I was here. It was a tough match, regardless of the result, says Medvedev in an interview from the inner court shown on Discovery +.
Medvedev played impressively in his own serve and never got any breakballs against him during the match. Medvedev, on the other hand, played until several breakballs in both sets and won the match 6-4, 6-2.
Loss against Novak Djokovic, but victories against Cameron Norrie and Andrej Rubljov made Casper Ruud number two in the green group in the ATP playoffs and thus reached the semifinals in Turin.
The biggest match of his career awaited there, with world number two and US Open winner Daniil Medvedev on the opposite side of the net.
In the first set, Medvedev got the upper hand early after breaking Ruud’s second serve game, partly due to two double errors from the Norwegian. It was also the only serve break in the set, and the Russian thus took the set 6-4.
Also in the second set, it was Medvedev who took the chance first and broke Ruud’s serve to a 3-2 lead. Ruud was thus more or less dependent on winning his next serve game, but on a breakball to Medvedev, Ruud chose to challenge the line judge’s decision. The Hawk-Eye system showed that the ball was in and thus Medvedev went up to 5-2 and served his way to the final in the next game.
Ruud has written Norwegian tennis history time and time again in recent years. In 2020, he became the first Norwegian to win a tournament on the ATP tour, and this year there have been five tournament victories. Before the ATP finals, only two other players have won five tournaments this season – world number one Novak Djokovic and Olympic winner Alexander Zverev.
The five tournament victories and consistently very good games in the Masters 1000 tournaments, have brought Ruud into the top ten in the world as the first Norwegian. At the time of writing, he is ranked number eight in the world.
By making it to the ATP playoffs, where the eight best players throughout the season will participate, Ruud became the first Norwegian to play in the tournament. The playoffs were first held in 1970, and Ruud is consequently the only Norwegian who has won a match in the playoffs and moved on from the group stage.
For the tournament in Turin, Ruud takes with him 400 ATP points and just over 4.5 million Norwegian kroner.
PS! You can watch the ATP playoffs on Discovery +.