Published: 10:14, April 22, 2024
Ruud defeats Tsitsipas to win Barcelona Open
By Reuters
Casper Ruud of Norway lifts the trophy after defeating Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece, 2nd right, 7-5, 6-3 during the final of the Barcelona Open tennis tournament in Barcelona, Spain, on April 21, 2024. (PHOTO / AP)

BARCELONA, Spain - Casper Ruud gained sweet revenge over Stefanos Tsitsipas as he beat the Greek fifth seed 7-5 6-3 to win the Barcelona Open on Sunday.

Just seven days after Tsitsipas thumped Ruud in straight sets to win the Monte Carlo Masters, it was the Norwegian third seed who came out on top in the latest battle between the two 25-year-olds as he secured a 10th ATP title on clay.

"Honestly, this has been worth the wait," Ruud said after capturing the biggest title his career, with all his previous triumphs being in ATP 250 tournaments.

After seven failed attempts to win a final above the ATP 250 level, Ruud was relieved to finally get over that hurdle.

Casper Ruud of Norway returns the ball to Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece during the final of the Barcelona Open tennis tournament in Barcelona, Spain, on April 21, 2024. (PHOTO / AP)

"A lot of finals that I've lost have been tough, a bit disappointing, of course," he said.

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"Any time you reach a final, it's nonetheless a good week, so you can’t be too hard on yourself but this one has been a long time coming."

Ruud also halted Tsitsipas' 10-match winning streak.

The Greek gained an early break but Ruud soon got into his groove and from then on he frustrated Tsitsipas with his baseline tactics.

Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas returns the ball to Norway's Casper Ruud during the ATP Barcelona Open "Conde de Godo" tennis tournament singles final match at the Real Club de Tenis in Barcelona, on April 21, 2024. (PHOTO / AFP)

Ruud maintained the upper hand throughout the second set, during which he did not face a break point.

"In the final in Monte Carlo I was always on the back foot, too far behind, and he had too much time to control the game," said Ruud.

"It was a bit of a tricky start (here), I got broken right away. So not the best start, but I managed to settle in and broke him back."

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The world number six will hope the win will boost his chances of finally winning the biggest prize in claycourt tennis, following his runner-up finishes to Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic at the French Open over the past two years.