Casper Ruud admitted that "only a couple of points" decided his ATP Finals thriller match versus Taylor Fritz. On Tuesday, Ruud edged out Fritz 6-3 4-6 7-6 (6) in two hours and 11 minutes of play. In the third set tie-break, Ruud opened a 5-1 lead and he also had two consecutive match points at 6-4.
But Fritz refused to quit as he recovered from a four-point deficit and also saved two consecutive match points in the tie-break to tie it to six points apiece. Just when it seemed Fritz would make a stunning comeback in the third set tie-break, Ruud won the next points to escape with a tight three-set win.
Ruud after beating Fritz: Only a couple of points made the difference
“Only a couple of points decide a match like this. Fortunately for me, they went my way at the end. I was 5/1 up in the tie-break and he turned it around.
He played some great points and hit some incredible winners to come back to 6/6. I hesitated a little bit at 6/4, but that is normal. There was a lot at stake. I am sad for Taylor, but I was so happy to see that last forehand sail long.
To book my place in the semi-finals felt great," Ruud said, per the ATP Finals website. Following his victory over Fritz, Ruud now owns a 2-0 record in the Green Group. Since Ruud is the only undefeated player in his group, he has secured a semifinal spot.
On Thursday, Ruud will be taking on Rafael Nadal in his final Round Robin match. Nadal, who has a 0-2 record in the group, has been eliminated from the semifinal contention. Meanwhile, Ruud is getting another chance to beat his idol Nadal for the first time.
Earlier this year, Ruud was beaten by Nadal in the French Open final. It remains to be seen if Ruud can beat Nadal and finish the group unbeaten.