Casper Ruud's race towards the ATP Finals in Turin has restarted from the ATP 250 tournament in San Diego. The Norwegian player, seeded number two in the American event, defeated Andy Murray on his debut and will face Lorenzo Sonego in the quarter-finals.
Ruud did not experience one of the best starts of him and took the first break in the third game. The player born in 1998 then surprised the Scotsman at 2-3 and recovered the initial disadvantage. Both held the serve until 6-5, when Ruud set his pace on the rallies and pinned Murray for a second time.
In the second set, the current number ten in the world rankings quickly moved up to 3-0, but then put Murray back into the game by playing the worst game of his game at 4-2. However, the match ended with four consecutive breaks and Ruud again hit the winning streak.
In recent months, there has been a lot of talk about Ruud's technical skills and his strength on clay courts. The Norwegian explained that he loves to play on this surface and that his greatest example of him bears the name and surname of Rafael Nadal.
Ruud pays tribute to Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal is undoubtedly the greatest claycourt player in tennis history, but his seven Major titles outside of the French Open are a testament to his ability on faster surfaces as well.
In a recent interview with the ATP Tour, Ruud pointed to Nadal's success on hardcourt to drive home his point that players with heavy top-spin can excel on surfaces other than clay. "Nadal is the perfect example and I think also (Dominic) Thiem a little bit," Ruud said.
"I think the general media has considered both Nadal and Thiem (as) you know big-time claycourt specialists and Nadal has won even two times in Wimbledon so it just goes to show that it's possible for the heavy topspin players to play well on the surface."
Victoria, the Australian state where the Australian Open takes place every year, recently announced a new protocol. It proclaimed that every athlete will have to take two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to play in the state.
As per reports, the delta variant of the coronavirus has been causing a havoc in Victoria. As a result, the authorities are making sure that every athlete gets fully vaccinated by the end of November. Surprisingly, the rule also exists for the visiting athletes.
Thus, the English cricketers travelling for the upcoming Ashes or the players who will be arriving for the Australian Open 2022 must also be fully vaccinated.