Norwegian tennis player Casper Ruud was happy with the way he performed against Felix Auger-Aliassime at the Madrid Masters on Tuesday. Ruud, ranked at No. 22 in the world, beat world No. 20 Auger-Aliassime 6-1 6-4 to progress into the Madrid Masters round-of-16.
Auger-Aliassime served out the second game of the match to level the set at one game apiece before Ruud claimed back-to-back breaks to win five games in a row and win the opener in style. Auger-Aliassime played better in the second set but dropped his serve in the seventh game and paid the price as Ruud served out for the match in the 10th game.
"I am very happy with the way I played," said Ruud. "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 hopes for a deep Madrid run
Ruud plays next against Japanese Yoshihito Nishioka, who beat Serb Filip Krajinovic.
"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."
Elsewhere, No. 6 seed Andrey Rublev survived a Tommy Paul scare. Rublev recovered from a set down to beat world No. 58 Paul 6-7 (5) 6-3 6-4. "It’s important to win when you’re not [playing] your [best] game and things are not going well," the Russian said on-court.
"So it’s really important to win this match to have more confidence. I’m happy that I turned it around." Meanwhile, Canadian tennis star Denis Shapovalov suffered a second round loss to Alexander Bublik.
Bublik, ranked at No. 44 in the world, beat world No. 14 Shapovalov 6-4 5-7 6-4. "I started on the same level as the other day, so it's not so much of my game not working. It's more mental," Shapovalov said. "Throwing in five doubles in one game, it's not like I don't know how to serve. It's completely mental."