World number six Casper Ruud defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas 7-5, 6-3 to win the Barcelona Open yesterday, the biggest title of his career.
The Norwegian earned revenge after his defeat by the Greek world number seven in the Monte Carlo Masters final last weekend.
Ruud, a three-time Grand Slam runner-up, had won 10 titles at 250 level with the 500-ranked clay-court event in Barcelona his 11th career triumph.
“For me it means a lot, this is my biggest title that I ever won in my career, it’s something I’ve chased for a long time already,” Ruud told Teledeporte. “I’ve never won a 500 before or a 1000, I’ve been to a few finals but always came up a little bit short.
“I didn’t start great during the match but luckily I was able to come back in and play really well in the end of the first and the second set.”
The 25-year-old leads the tour with 29 wins this year but had lost in three finals before wrapping up his first title of 2024 when Tsitsipas, who lacked his usual spark, went long. “The last six, seven months I’ve taken a few steps in the right direction in my game and I’m glad it’s paying off,” added Ruud.
Ruud conceded a break in the opening game, which Tsitsipas consolidated for 2-0, giving the chance of a repeat of his first-set collapse in the Monte Carlo final.
Ruud’s 91-minute victory ended a 10-match winning streak for Tsitsipas. “I wasn’t playing my best tennis this week in Barcelona... throughout the whole week I didn’t feel like my shots had the same effect as they did in Monte Carlo,” said Tsitsipas. “Today it felt like I didn’t have the mental capacity to even fight. Even if I wanted to push myself to fight, Casper was just too good today.”
Struff beats Fritz in Munich
for debut title
German fourth seed Jan-Lennard Struff broke through for his debut ATP singles title in his 218th tournament yesterday, beating American third seed Taylor Fritz in the final in Munich. The 33-year-old Struff won in straight sets, beating Fritz 7-5, 6-3 in the rain in the Bavarian capital. Fritz, ranked 15th in the world, 13 places higher than the German, already had seven titles to his name before yesterday’s match.
“It’s unbelievable, I’ve been waiting for this for so long. I’m 33 years old,” the breathless Struff said a few moments after his triumph. I’ve been here for so long, now I’ve finally done it.”
Struff played his first ATP tour match 11 years ago and has won four doubles titles, but had never lifted a singles crown. “Unbelievable – and to do it on home soil is just incredible. I waited so long,” Struff said. “I’ve been playing so long on tour so it’s just an amazing feeling to do it here in Germany.”
In addition to a cash prize, winners of the BMW-sponsored tournament take home a car worth around $107,000 and a pair of traditional Bavarian lederhosen.
Rybakina wins Stuttgart Open
Kazakh fourth seed Elena Rybakina defeated Ukrainian Marta Kostyuk in straight sets to win the WTA event in Stuttgart yesterday.
2022 Wimbledon champion Rybakina beat Kostyuk 6-2, 6-2 in one hour nine minutes, ending the 21-year-old Ukrainian’s giant-killing run at the tournament. The world number four broke Kostyuk twice in the first set and twice in the second, fighting off three break points from the world number 27 to lift her eighth career title. Rybakina how holds a 2-1 record against Kostyuk.
“I want to congratulate Marta for a great tournament. You’re playing really well and hopefully we play many more finals,” Rybakina said. “The crowd, guys, it was an unbelievable week. It was nice to play every match here and fight. Your energy gives a lot during these tough matches.”
The title is her third of 2024, having already won in Brisbane and Abu Dhabi and it is the first time she has won three WTA titles in one year.
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