The 22-year-old Casper Ruud has established himself as one of the players to beat on clay in the last two seasons. The Norwegian claimed the first ATP title in Buenos Aires last year, adding the second to his tally at the Geneva Open on Saturday thanks to a 7-6, 6-4 victory over Denis Shapovalov in an hour and 41 minutes.
Casper lost the opening set against Dominik Koepfer in the quarters before racing past Pablo Andujar to find himself in the title clash. In the battle of the 2nd and 3rd seeds, Casper won ten points more than Denis to cross the finish line first, serving at 55% and dropping only 12 points in 11 service games to avoid break chances.
Shapovalov gave his best to stay in touch and follow that pace, standing two points away from taking the opening set in the tie break and suffering one break in the second to propel the opponent over the finish line.
Casper Ruud claimed the second ATP title in Geneva.
With these points, Casper will return into the top-20 on Monday, winning 20 matches this season and 15 out of 19 he played on his beloved clay.
The returners had no chances in the opening set before the tie break, taking only 11 points and failing to reach at least one deuce. Both players opted for fast and aggressive tennis, attacking right after the serve and controlling the pace in their games.
At 2-2, Ruud held with an ace and opened a 30-15 lead in the next one before Shapovalov fired three booming serves to level the score at 3-3. The Norwegian held at love at 4-4, and did the same at 5-5 to keep the pressure on the other side of the net.
Denis stayed composed and reached a tie break, where Casper opened a 6-2 lead with a smash winner. The Canadian saved all four break chances to bring the result back to 6-6 before netting an easy volley in the 14th point to hand the set to Ruud.
With momentum on his side, Casper produced five comfortable holds in set number two, challenging the opponent to repeat that if he wanted to remain in touch. The only break chances came at 2-2, and Ruud converted the fifth when Shapovalov netted a volley to move in front and closer to the finish line.
Casper held at love in the next two service games and sealed the deal with a service winner at 5-4 to celebrate the second ATP title.