Casper Ruud speaks highly of Thanasi Kokkinakis after Geneva clash

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Casper Ruud speaks highly of Thanasi Kokkinakis after Geneva clash

Norwegian tennis star Casper Ruud beat Thanasi Kokkinakis in straight sets but afterward spoke highly of the Australian and insisted he wasn't an easy opponent to play again. Second-seeded Ruud is now a step closer to defending his Geneva title as on Thursday he defeated Kokkinakis 6-4 7-6 (3) to progress into the semifinal at the tournament.

Ruud missed out on a break point in the fourth game but claimed the first break of the match in the 10th game, when Kokkinakis was serving to stay in the first set. The lone break points of the second set were seen in the 11th game, when Kokkinakis missed out on two break points.

Kokkinakis paid the price for failing to convert break points in the key moments of the second set as Ruud dominated the tie-break to complete a straight-set win.

Ruud: Kokkinakis was a difficult opponent

“It was difficult from the first to the last point,” Ruud said, per the ATP Tour website.

“Thanasi is a player with big weapons, dangerous shots and he has been playing well this year. It is fun to see him back, I have known he has been struggling with injuries. It was the first time playing against him, so everything was new.

I was able to break him at the end of the first set and play some good points in the tie-break and that sealed the match”. Ruud plays next big-serving American Reilly Opelka. Ruud lost the first meeting against Opelka but has since beaten the American three times.

“I expect it to be tough,” Ruud said of facing Opelka. “Reilly with the serve and the altitude, it is tough to return his serve. But I will do my best and see how I can do. I always enjoy playing against Reilly.

He is a similar age to myself and it will be another battle against him and hopefully it will be a good one”. Ruud is now two wins away from winning back-to-back Geneva titles.