Spanish clay-court specialist Albert Ramos-Vinolas made a decision to change his tactics after being on the verge of losing the first set and it paid off. Ramos-Vinolas, ranked at No. 69 in the world, overcame rising Norwegian star Casper Ruud 7-5 6-4 to reach the Kitzbuhel final.
Ramos-Vinolas started the match with a break before he lost his serve twice in a row as Ruud won the following four games to take a 4-1 lead. However, Ramos-Vinolas kept his focus as he claimed back-to-back breaks to win five games in a row and steal the first set after being 5-2 down.
Both players then held on to their serve until the ninth game of the second set, when Ramos-Vinolas broke Ruud before successfully serving out for the match in the following game. "[At 2-5 down] I changed my tactics, I stepped in a little bit more,” Ramos-Vinolas said, as revealed on the ATP website.
”With the forehand I changed a little more down the line, also with the return a little bit more closer to the lines." Ramos-Vinolas' final opponent will be No. 1 seed Dominic Thiem, who beat Lorenzo Sonego in the second semifinal.
"I expect a very difficult match [if I play Thiem in the final]. Obviously, he is probably one of the best on clay at the moment and he is playing at home. If he wins, it is going to be a difficult match," Ramos-Vinolas added.