Top-ranked Norwegian tennis player Casper Ruud was "very happy" with the way he performed against world No. 20 Felix Auger-Aliassime at the Madrid Masters on Tuesday. Ruud, ranked at No. 22 in the world, beat Auger-Aliassime easier than expected as he handed a 6-1 6-4 loss to the rising Canadian star.
The two players all tied at one game apiece after the opening two games but then Ruud claimed back-to-back breaks and won five games in a row to clinch the opener in style. Auger-Aliassime played better in the second set but that wasn't enough as Ruud earned the lone break of the set in the seventh game, before serving out for the match in the 10th game.
“I am very happy with the way I played," said Ruud, per the ATP website. "I will take all the Masters 1000 wins I can get. I played solid and steady today. Madrid is a little bit different to other clay-court events because of the high bounces and altitude.
I hit with good length and I served unbelievably well today. I have been working a lot on my serve recently, so it's nice to see it's coming together a little bit. I hope I can keep my level high”.
Ruud aiming a deep Madrid run
"I think that I have proved myself in Rome [last year] and in Monte-Carlo that I can play at a high level," said Ruud.
"To reach the semi-finals in Madrid, I will have to play well again. I have a lot of motivation to play well throughout the clay-court season." Ruud plays next against lucky loser Yoshihito Nishioka, who beat Serb Filip Krajinovic 6-2 6-4.
Nishioka started the match with back-to-back breaks as he took a 4-0 lead, before serving out for the first set in the eighth game. Nishioka then broke Krajinovic in the seventh game of the second set, before serving out for the match in the 10th game.