Norwegian tennis star Casper Ruud admtited it wasn't easy at all playing world No. 167 Mario Vilella Martinez in his Kitzbuhel opener. Ruud, seeded at No. 1, had a first round bye and he kicked off his tournament on Tuesday against qualifier Viella Martinez.
Ruud didn't have an easy job at the office but he escaped with a 7-5 5-7 6-4 win to progress into the Kitzubel quarterfinal. “It was obviously very tough. You can see it in the score,” Ruud said in his on-court interview, as quoted on the ATP website.
“I didn’t start too well and Mario played well in the beginning and heavy and [like] a typical Spanish clay-court player. He was playing good. “He’s a very strong player, he can hit very strong balls, good serve.
I just tried to neutralise the serve as good as I could. I wasn’t able to do it so well, but one break here and there can be enough and at the end of the day, I’m happy that it’s the end of the day and that I won the match”.
Ruud avoided a shock loss
Vilella Martinez earned the first break of the match in the fourth game but Ruud broke back in the seventh game. After breaking back Vilella Martinez, Ruud earned his second break of the match in the 11th game and served out for the opener in the 12th game.
After winning the first set, Ruud had a chance to start the second set with a break but Vilella Martinez saved three break points in the third game. Vilella Martinez then claimed the lone break of the second set in the 12th game to force a decider.
After losing the second set, Ruud bounced back well as he broke Vilella Martinez in the opening game of the third set. Ruud then heln on to his serve the rest of the way to clinch a three-set win. Ruud plays today against Mikael Ymer.