Federico Delbonis kicks Casper Ruud into the Argentina Open final
MDP Live - Norwegian Casper Ruud has quickly adapted to clay in the 2022 season after advancing to the Argentina Open final in Buenos Aires.
The world number 8 showed an amazing performance when he defeated the host, Federico Delbonis 6-3, 6-3 in the semifinals of the Argentina Open. He passed it in 1 hour 39 minutes to record 8-0 at the ATP level 250 tournament.
The Norwegian feels she has been building momentum well at the Argentina Open after she has not dropped a set.
“I think I played my best match of the tournament this time around, so it felt really good. It gives me confidence for the next match," said Ruud.
"I knew it was going to be a tough match against Delbonis, he always plays well on clay and hits hard. I think we played pretty much the same style and I stepped up my game when I had to and played really solid throughout the game."
With the result, the head to head of both players is now 1-1, but the Norwegian has come a long way since she lost to Delbonis in Sao Paulo in 2017. She is now a player who has claimed six titles.
Delbonis also reached the semifinals of the 2018 Argentina Open, but he looked like he couldn't get any better than this achievement after the first seed had impressed throughout the match.
Waiting for Ruud in the final is the defending champion and host favorite, Diego Schwartzman, who fought his way out to beat the Italian, Lorenzo Sonego 7-5, 3-6, 6-2.
"For sure, playing Diego here will be a positive experience. It will be a pleasant experience,” said Ruud.
"I think the crowd will cheer on the Argentines, of course, that's normal, but they have also been fair to me and when we have had good rallies they applaud both players."
Schwartzman took almost 3 hours to beat Sonego, his second win of the day. He booked a place in the semifinals of the Argentina Open after finishing the previous day's rain-delayed match against compatriot Francisco Cerundolo.
“I feel very happy to be back in the final again. I feel very confident here. Sometimes I have to run for 3 hours to win, but that's okay. I'm just focused on winning and that's the important thing," said Schwartzman.
Casper Ruud picks first win in Buenos Aires since ATP Cup
MDP Live - Casper Ruud has impressed again at the Argentina Open in Buenos Aires after an ankle injury forced him to withdraw from the Australian Open at the start of the 2022 season.
In his first match since the ATP Cup, the 23-year-old beat Spaniard Roberto Carballes Baena 7-6, 6-3 at the Argentina Open.
The Norwegian won the ATP tournament title for the first time as the eighth seed at the 2020 Argentina Open and this season she arrived in Buenos Aires as the world number 8 player.
The first seed maintained a perfect 6-0 record in Buenos Aires with a win over Carballes Baena.
"That's a positive start. For the first time in six months playing on clay, so everything feels a little new again," said Ruud.
"Of course I prefer to play on clay, but it takes a little time to get used to the court and play the points."
Now, with six titles in his trophy cabinet, including five won in the 2021 season, the Norwegian is looking to win a second Argentina Open title. He did not participate in last season's edition which was won by Diego Schwartzman, the second seed of the season.
“I, of course, feel really great in Buenos Aires. I'm a little nervous coming back here, because for the first time I have to defend the title," added Ruud.
"Everything feels a little different from two seasons ago. When I won here, it was a shock. I'm still quite young."
Next, Ruud will face Federico Coria in the quarter-finals, after the hosts fought their way to a 4-6, 7-5, 6-4 win over fifth seed Dusan Lajovic.
Coria trailed 3-5 in the second set, but he came back to win the last four games in front of his own crowd.
In the deciding set, Coria won 12 points in a row, bringing the 0-1 position to 3-1. From that position, he was unstoppable.
"I know Federico very well," said Ruud, who will play a rematch of the 2021 Swedish Open season won by the Norwegian.
"Last season we played in Bastad, so it was like my home and now we are playing here in Buenos Aires, so this is his home. That game will be quite difficult for me and I hope I can play a good game, and of course, once again feel the positive energy from the stadium."
Spain's Fernando Verdasco also had to come back after losing the first set before clinching a 2-6, 6-3, 7-5 victory over Brazilian Thiago Monteiro.
In the quarterfinals of the Argentina Open, Verdasco will duel against the third seed, Lorenzo Sonego who slaughtered the old tennis player, Sebastian Baez with 6-3, 6-3.