Ruud Opens Munich Title Bid With Hard-Fought Win

Casper Ruud (photo: Florian Heer)

MUNICH, April 28, 2022

Second-round action at the BMW Open by American Express concluded on a sunny Thursday afternoon in Munich. Casper Ruud began his title bid with a hard-fought 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 victory over Alex Molcan from Slovakia.

The No. 2 seed of the ATP 250 clay-court tournament and after Alexander Zverev’s loss yesterday the highest-ranked player left in the singles draw, needed some time to find his rhythm as Molcan showed a fine display in the opening set. Ruud sent down seven aces and won 74 per cent of his first-service points to prevail after two hours and 15 minutes.

“It was a very tough test. I didn’t get off to a great start,” the World No. 7 from Norway said. “But I was able to fight back and find my rhythm and luckily I was able to do it a little bit towards the end of the first set, which I still lost, but it gave me some confidence for the second set.

“I started the second set well, I broke him right away. The third set was really close and even but I was able to get the break. It gives me confidence I am able to win matches like these.”

Ruud, a semi-finalist in Munich last year, will next take on Botic van de Zandschulp, who made light work of Belarusian qualifier Egor Gerasimov. The No. 8 seed from the Netherlands was solid in every single department, showed excellent skills from the back of the court and kept his cool in the big moments as well. World No. 40 Van de Zandschulp, the best-ranked Dutchman, prevailed after 68 minutes.

“First set I started pretty well and was quickly leading 4-0. The second set was a battle until the end and we played a good second set,” van de Zandschulp said. “It’s my first time here it’s always great to play near home, as I call it. Its a pretty nice  tournament and finally some good weather. I am looking forward to the next match.”

Oscar with back-to-back quarterfinals

Later in the afternoon, Oscar Otte has reached his second straight quarterfinal on the ATP Tour after advancing to the stage of the final eight at the Serbia Open in Belgrade last week. The last German left in the singles draw edged out No. 3 seed Reilly Opelka 7-6(4), 6-2.

Otte withstood 10 aces from the big-serving US-American and capitalized on two of his six break-point chances to secure victory in one hour and 26 minutes.

“It was a difficult match. I have never played against him. I saw his matches on TV and everyone’s struggling with his serve but I made my shots today. I am super happy to be in the quarterfinals tomorrow in beautiful Munich,” Otte said.

The start on clay wasn’t that great but I am playing really well. Now, it’s getting warmer and the courts are getting quicker. I am trying to develop my game match by match and I think it works out really well.”

Otte will next play Chilean lucky loser Alejandro Tabilo, who benefited from the retirement of Hugo Gaston. Tabilo was leading 6-2, 2-6, 4-1 when the Frenchman was forced to stop playing due to injury.