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Tsitsipas Overcomes Lajovic And Faces Ruud In Barcelona Final

  • SPORT
  • 3 min read

Stefanos Tsitsipas secured a hard-fought 5-7 6-4 6-2 win over Serbia’s Dusan Lajovic in the Barcelona Open on Saturday and will face Norwegian third seed Casper Ruud in another final.

Fifth seed Tsitsipas is chasing his second title of the season after he dismantled Ruud 6-1 6-4 to win the Monte Carlo Masters last week for the third time in four years.

The two will meet again in the showpiece match on Sunday after Ruud beat Argentina’s Tomas Etcheverry 7-6(6) 6-4 in the other semi-final earlier on Saturday.

Lajovic broke to take the opening set against the Greek after neither player dropped serve in the first 11 games.

Tsitsipas committed 22 unforced errors in that set but his performance improved and he broke Lajovic’s serve in the second to take a 4-3 lead and eventually level the match.

Another two breaks in the decider put Tsitsipas 4-1 in front and he marched on to book his spot in a fourth Barcelona final.

“I’m sure having played someone a few days apart, for sure they’re going to come up with new plans and new adjustments,” Tsitsipas said when asked about his rematch with Ruud.

“I’m expecting a much better version of what I had in Monte Carlo… Of course these kind of matches are tricky, playing back to back. You try to see what works best for you. The opponent is trying to get as good as he can for the next one.”

World number six Ruud has not dropped a set so far as he cruised past Etcheverry to reach his fourth final this year although he is still seeking his first tour-level title since lifting the trophy in Estoril last April.

The pair were evenly matched in the first set until Ruud took his first chance to break for a 4-2 lead before Etcheverry, seeded 13th, broke back in the following game.

The Argentine saved two set points to force a tiebreak, only to see Ruud clinch it having saved a set point himself after a 76-minute battle.

It was just as close in the second but Ruud proved too strong for Etcheverry, playing in his first ATP 500 semi-final.

“Those three finals losses this year have been making me hungrier,” Ruud said. “I’m going to dream about (clinching the title) tonight.

“Last week I put a bit too much pressure on myself. I play my best when I’m cool and don’t think too much about it out there. That’s what I did today.”

Before his defeat by Tsitsipas in Monte Carlo last week, Ruud lost finals in Los Cabos and Acapulco this year.

Reuters