Tennis: Casper Ruud beats Novak Djokovic and joins Tsitsipas in the final in Monte-Carlo

Casper Ruud, double finalist at Roland-Garros (2022, 2023), dominated world No. 1 Novak Djokovic 6-4, 1-6, 6-4 on Saturday and thus qualified for the final of the Masters 1000 in Monte -Carlo where he will face Stefanos Tsistipas. “I could only play very well otherwise I knew it would be impossible to win. I was lucky to win the first set, especially since I had never taken a single set from him until then,” commented the Norwegian 25 years old. “Thanks to that, even after losing the second set I knew I could still win,” he explained.

Second Masters 1000 final for Ruud

Indeed, in five meetings until then, the last in the final of Roland-Garros last year, Djokovic had always won and had never even lost a single set against Ruud. The 25-year-old Norwegian, who also played the final of the US Open in 2023, had his best result in Monte-Carlo a semi-final lost against Andrey Rublev in 2021. He will play his second Masters 1000 final after the one lost in Miami in 2022. Djokovic started the match by letting his throw slip. An exchange of breaks in the middle of the set changed nothing, Ruud retained the advantage until the end.

At the start of the second set, Djokovic showed signs of fatigue: he was panting like an ox when changing sides and, between the rallies, looking for the shadow which, little by little, was nibbling away at the court. And while the temperature dropped significantly, Djokovic dominated the second set head and shoulders, taking advantage of his opponent’s generosity, including several crucial double faults. Against all expectations, and as the coolness of the end of the day began to envelop the court, the wind turned again and it was Ruud who escaped 3-0.

But, with the help of the public who sometimes began to support him loudly, Djokovic recovered to 4-4. The Serb served at 4-5 to stay in the game but could only concede his throw one last time and the match. Before facing Tsitsipas, “I will try to have a good night and be as ready as possible for the final,” assured Ruud.

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