Ruud defeats Tsitsipas to win Barcelona Open

football21 April 2024 16:10| Ā© AFP
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Casper Ruud @ Action Images

World No 6 Casper Ruud defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas 7-5, 6-3 to win the Barcelona Open on Sunday.

The Norwegian earned revenge after his defeat by the Greek world No 7 in the Monte Carlo Masters final last week to claim the biggest trophy of his career.

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.

However Ruud stayed calm and broke back in the sixth game with a passing shot the Greek could not control.

The Norwegian brought up two set points at 6-5 up, clinching it with a break when Tsitsipas erred at the net.

Two-time Grand Slam runner-up Tsitsipas slapped a forehand into the net to concede the first break of the second set and Ruud then held to open up a 4-1 lead.

Tsitsipas saved two break points in the sixth game to give himself a chance of a comeback, but could not match Ruud's energy after two draining three-set matches in his run to the final.

Ruud's 91-minute victory ended a 10-match winning streak for Tsitsipas.