Ruud Continues Dream Run At Copa Sevilla

Casper Ruud (photo: Copa Sevilla)

SEVILLE, September 8, 2016

Casper Ruud celebrated his fifth win in six days at the €42,500 Copa Sevilla ATP Challenger on quarterfinals Thursday, knocking out the tournament’s number one Inigo Cervantes.

The 17-year-old from Norway rallied from a set down, winning 79 per cent of his first service points to seal a 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 victory in one hour and 49 minutes.

“This is a really good tournament. I didn’t know what to expect because it was my first Challenger, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised. There have been people coming out to support us and watch the matches, so it’s been really nice. It’s been a great experience to play some Challengers instead of Futures,” told Ruud, who captured two titles on the ITF Pro Circuit this season, lifting the trophies in Paguera in February and Kaarina last week.

The teenager started the year ranked number one in the ITF Junior Rankings. He decided to forgo the US Open junior events and instead continue to focus on moving up the ATP Rankings.

“I wanted to try and win a Grand Slam for the year, but didn’t play too well at Roland Garros orWimbledon. It was a little bit far to travel for one tournament at the US Open and I’m also heading to China in the fall,” said the current world number 450. “I wanted to focus more on the men’s circuit, so it made sense to train in Spain and then come here to get some good matches and good experience.”

Ruud joins Denis Shapovalov, Taylor Fritz and Frances Tiafoe as 17-year-olds to reach a Challenger semi-final in the past year. The Oslo native, who names Rafael Nadal as his big idol, will next face either defending champion Pedro Cachín, who ousted Arthur de Greef 3-6, 6-3, 7-5.

Kamil Majchrzak knocked-off second favourite Gerald Melzer 6-3, 6-1. The 20-year-old from Poland won 61 of the total 97 points played to advance to his only second semi-final on the ATP Challenger Tour after one hour and 10 minutes. Majchrzak finished runner-up to Roberto Carballés-Baena in Mohammedia last year and will now take on third seed Taro Daniel. The world number 101 from Japan fought past Andrey Rublev 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.