Top seed Casper Ruud continued to justify his tag as favourite at the Nordea Open on Saturday as he defeated Roberto Carballes Baena 6-1, 6-4 to march into his second ATP Tour final of the season.
The Norwegian, who lifted the Gonet Geneva Open title (d. Shapovalov) in May, dictated throughout. He won 76 per cent (19/25) of his first-service points and broke five times to advance in 79 minutes.
“I played a very good first set, I am very happy,” Ruud said. “[The second set] was a bit back and forth, I started to get a bit nervous towards the end. I started to play the points to quickly and didn’t play my game. That is natural when you are feeling the nerves.
“I am looking forward to the final. It is my fifth final of my career, and I am looking to make it three titles and my second one this year. I hope we can have some Scandinavian cheering.”
Ruud has now notched 19 clay-court wins this season, having also enjoyed runs to the semi-finals at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters (l. to Rublev) and the Mutua Madrid Open (l. to Berrettini) this year.
The World No. 16 dropped just three points in the opening five games as raced into a 5-0 lead against Carballes Baena. He was rock solid from the baseline and stepped inside the baseline with great effect to move ahead. Despite being briefly pegged back after breaking at the start of the second set, Ruud once again refocused to move 4-2 ahead. He then closed out on serve.
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Ruud will face Federico Coria in the final. The Argentine broke new ground as he eased past Yannick Hanfmann 6-2, 6-1 to reach his first tour-level final.
“I am very happy. It is my first final tomorrow,” Coria said. “I played the best tennis of my life today here in Bastad. It is amazing [here]. It is beautiful.”
The 29-year-old, who is currently at a career-high No. 77 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, has enjoyed a dream week on the clay in Sweden. He recorded his best-ever win against World No. 18 Cristian Garin, in the quarter-finals and backed this up by winning 77 per cent (20/26) of his first-service points to advance in 72 minutes against Hanfmann.Coria, who enjoyed a run to the semi-finals at the Cordoba Open (l. to Cerundolo) in February, clinched the Prostejov ATP Challenger Tour title in June. He will be aiming for a maiden tour-level title against Ruud on Sunday.
Source: Tennis – ATP World Tour