Casper Ruud: Denis Shapovalov took Rafael Nadal to his knees in Rome



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Casper Ruud: Denis Shapovalov took Rafael Nadal to his knees in Rome

Norwegian tennis star Casper Ruud is expecting to have a tough job when he meets rising Canadian star Denis Shapovalov in the Geneva Open final. Ruud, ranked at No. 21 in the world, handed a 6-3 6-2 loss to Pablo Andujar in the Geneva semifinal on Friday.

Following his win over Andujar, Ruud earned his first final of the 2021 season. Meanwhile, world No. 15 Shapovalov overcame Pablo Cuevas 6-4 7-5 to also reach his first final of the season. Last week at the Rome Masters, Shapovalov missed on two match points against Rafael Nadal as the Spaniard won 3-6 6-4 7-6 (3).

Shapovalov was up by a set and a break before record 13-time French Open champion Nadal staged a comeback. “Denis has also been playing very good on the surface recently and took [Rafael] Nadal to his knees last week in Rome and had match points,” Ruud said, per the ATP website.

“And I was watching the match. He was playing very well and has been playing well here as well”.

Ruud handled Andujar routinely

Ruud earned the first break of the match in the third game to take a 2-1 lead. The Norwegian then collected his second break in the ninth game to seal the opener.

The same scenario happened in the second set as Ruud claimed two breaks and lost no service games to comfortably win the set and book a straight-set win. On the other side, Shapovalov also claimed a win two set but he had a bit tougher job than Ruud.

Shapovalov broke Cuevas in the fifth game but got broken back in the eighth game. After breaking back Shapovalov, Cuevas again dropped his serve as the Canadian served out for the opener in the 10th game. Shapovalov was down 4-2 in the second set, before he earned back-to-back breaks to overturn the deficit and book a final clash against Ruud. It remains to be seen if Ruud can beat Shapovalov and lift his first title of the season.