Top-ranked Norwegian tennis player Casper Ruud didn't hide his happiness after claiming a win in the Madrid Masters quarterfinal on Friday. Ruud, ranked at No. 22 in the world, handed a 7-5 6-1 loss to Kazakhstan's Alexander Bublik to reach his third Masters semifinal.
Ruud failed to convert any of his two break point chances in the fourth game but also saved a break point in the seventh game. The key moment of the match came in the 12th game of the first set, when Ruud realized his fourth set point to win a tight opener.
After losing a tight set, Bublik's game fell apart as Ruud claimed two breaks and lost no service games to book a straight-set win. "It's a great feeling, it’s my third Masters 1000 semi-final, third in a row on clay," Ruud said.
"I’m just playing the tennis of my life for the moment and I'm enjoying it."
Ruud plays Matteo Berrettini next
Ruud, who is enjoying a career-high ranking of No. 22 in the world, is hoping to make his maiden Masters final in Madrid.
However, he won't have an easy job as he will have to beat No. 8 seed Berrettini if he wants to make the Madrid final. "This is the third time now; I hope that's the lucky charm," Ruud said. "The previous two times I lost to [Novak] Djokovic, then I lost to [Andrey] Rublev.
Whoever it will be tomorrow will be at least a lower-ranked player. But they're both great players. I hope that I can try to take advantage of that." Berrettini was down by a set and a break in the Madrid quarterfinal but he recovered as he beat Cristian Garin 5-7 6-3 6-0.
After taking a 7-5 2-1 lead, Garin's game fell apart as he won only two games in the rest of the match. It remains to be seen if Ruud can beat Berrettini and make his maiden Masters final in Madrid.