Casper Ruud took another step in his career this Friday. By defeating Francisco Cerúndolo 6-4, 6-1 in the semifinals of the Miami Open presented by Itaú, the Norwegian qualified to play in his first ATP Masters 1000 final.
On Sunday, Ruud will have the chance to win the biggest title of his career. Ruud, No. 8 in the world, entered the match full of confidence after eliminating Alexander Zverev, the second seed, in the quarter-finals. And that great moment of form was translated from the first moment on the track, with the Norwegian launched towards victory against the Argentine.
Cerúndolo, who had never recorded an ATP Tour victory on hard courts before Miami, managed to rise to the semi-finals in a magical week, but fell just short of completing his fairy tale by reaching the final. In a tight first set, Ruud managed to break his opponent's serve at 4-4 and made sure to hit first.
The Norwegian, very solid from the back of the court, kept calm in the important moments against a Cerúndolo aware of the great chance he had. In the second set, Ruud unceremoniously charged into the final: he just let his rival score a game before celebrating an incredible win.
About Carlos Alcaraz, his rival in the final, the Norwegian stated that "we all know how talented he is, that he has a very good mind for tennis. During the podcast, Rob Steckley highlighted how he holds Novak Djokovic in the highest regard for staying true to his words and beliefs.
Novak Djokovic has a clean chit for French Open
Canadian tennis coach Rob Steckley recently lauded Novak Djokovic's dedication to his principles, explaining how it takes a great deal of courage for someone, especially in the Serb's position, to go against the tide.
"You have Djokovic who is sticking to his beliefs on you know against, what was it, not getting fully vaccinated? I'm definitely not statistically inclined so bear with me, but I do know that his beliefs are something that he believes in and that's what he stands by and it's crazy to think that somebody that's in his position is going to stick to his guns amongst everything that's happening against the world.
So he's basically going against it. I find that also incredibly admirable," Steckley added. "I have the utmost respect for him and I think a lot of people questioned that at the beginning but when you really know his story and his beliefs that I think that's what humanity is all about right, that's what he believes in," Rob Steckley said. "And I gained a lot of respect after listening to his story in Australia."