Norwegian tennis star Casper Ruud was extremely happy after stunning the in-form Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas at the Madrid Masters. Ruud, ranked at No. 22 in the world, handed a 7-6 (4) 6-4 loss to world No. 5 Tsitsipas in the Madrid round-of-16.
As not a single break was seen in the first set -- the set went into a tie-break -- in which Ruud realized his first set point to win a tight opener. The first break point was seen in the seventh game of the second set as Ruud realized his first break point to take a 4-3 lead.
Three games later, Ruud routinely served out for the match. "He is one of the best players this year on the Tour, one of the ones who has won the most matches. He's won his first Masters 1000 in Monte-Carlo. Barcelona he was very close to getting the title there, as well," Ruud said of Tsitsipas.
"But the conditions are a bit different here than other clay courts with the fast shots, the ball traveling faster through the air because of the altitude. You get a lot of free points with the serve that you don't usually [get] on the clay courts.
I think that also today went a bit in my advantage. "I felt like he was doing some mistakes that he doesn't always do. I was just trying to take care of the chances that I got."
Ruud plays next Alexander Bublik
"He's definitely playing very well here in Madrid.
He also won three matches. He's serving unbelievable," Ruud said of Bublik. "He can do anything with the ball. He can play drop shots and winners, the most incredible shots. Underarm serve. I have to be prepared for everything tomorrow."
Meanwhile, Dominic Thiem overcame Alex de Minaur in straight sets. "I feel way better than expected. In some points and some rallies, I still feel the lack of matches,” Thiem said. “I am a little bit more out of breath, I am a little bit too tight in some shots and some strokes.
“Everything has to be a little more relaxed again to be in the match mode. I lost a little bit of intensity after winning that close first set. I have to get back in a rhythm, but the more matches I play against these top guys, the quicker I will get back in the match rhythm I need”.