World No 4 Casper Ruud was thrilled with the way he started his ATP Finals campaign as he noted that it was very important for him to start with a win considering his struggles post-US Open. Ruud, who had several early-round exits after making the US Open final, defeated Felix Auger-Aliassime 7-6 (4) 6-4 in his Round Robin opener in Turin.
As not a single break point was seen in the first set, the opener had to be resolved in a tie-break. In the tie-break, the two players were tied to four points apiece before Ruud won three points in a row to win a tight first set.
After winning the first set, Ruud claimed the first break of the match in the seventh game of the second set and then held on to his serve the rest of the match to complete a two-set win.
Ruud on beating Auger-Aliassime
“I think this is some of the best level that I have played since the US Open.
The last couple of months have been a little bit of a struggle, I have to honestly say that, but you have to accept it as well. You will face difficult moments in your career, and maybe these last couple of months was one of those.
It doesn’t matter how hard you practise if you don’t win matches, so today was a great win for me," Ruud said after the match, per the ATP Finals website. After starting with a win, Ruud underlined that there will be relaxation on his part as his mission in Turin is far from finished.
“I had a great start, just the way I needed to. [Winning in straight sets]. The next match is going to be tough no matter who I play, but at least I have a win in the bag. I’m not going to try to relax, but I know that I don’t need to sort of stress or try to rush things to try to turn it around, so that’s hopefully a good thing.
I’m not going to count on anything, I’m just going to focus on the next two matches and in a way pretend that this never happened. So, I need to bring my A-game in the next two matches as well," Ruud added.