Rublev, Ruud advance to San Diego semi-finals

As Andrey Rublev aims for his second title of the year, second seed Casper Ruud advanced to his first ATP hardcourt semi-final

Andrey Rublev at the San Diego Open tennis tournament.

Top seeds Andrey Rublev and Casper Ruud scored straight set wins at the San Diego Open on Friday to move close to a showdown in Sunday’s final.

Rublev, gunning for his second title of the season, scored a 6-1, 7-5 win over Argentine Diego Schwartzman. whom he beat for the first time at last week’s Laver Cup. (Note – 1-1 head-to-head prior to San Diego).

“The match against him at the Laver cup helped me a lot because we hadn’t played for a really, really long time and I didn’t know what he was doing on court,” Rublev said. “The match at Laver Cup gave me confidence and also let me know how I needed to play today.”

The Russian will next meet Cameron Norrie, ranked a career-high 28th in the world. The Brit, who is enjoying his career-best season, scored the big upset of the day with a 6-3, 6-1 win over fourth seed Denis Shapovalov. This marked Norrie’s 40th win of the year.

Ruud to face off against Dimitrov in semis

Norway’s Ruud, whose four titles this year have come all on clay, scored a 6-1, 6-4 win over ninth seed Lorenzo Sonego, of Italy, to reach the first hardcourt semi-final of his career.

“This is my first semi-final on hard court after reaching the quarters in Toronto and Cincinnati, so it’s another important step in my young career,” Ruud said as quoted by the ATP Tour. “It gives me confidence for tomorrow and the belief that I can beat good players on this surface.”

The Norwegian will meet former world No 3 Grigor Dimitrov, who beat Australian Open semi-finalist Aslan Karatsev 6-1, 1-6, 6-2 in the final match of the day.

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