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Ruud races past Cerundolo into Miami Open final

Casper Ruud is through to the biggest final of his career after beating Francisco Cerundolo in Miami on Friday. Ruud awaits either Hubert Hurkacz over Carlos Alcaraz.

Casper Ruud (NOR) hits a backhand during his men's singles quarterfinal match in the Miami Open at Hard Rock Stadium. Casper Ruud (NOR) hits a backhand during his men’s singles quarterfinal match in the Miami Open at Hard Rock Stadium. Image Credit: AI / Reuters / Panoramic

Miami Open 2022: Men’s Singles Draw | Results Order of Play

Prior to this fortnight, Casper Ruud had never reached a final at any level outside of ATP 250s. His 10th title match will be by his biggest with room to spare, as Ruud will be one of the last two men left standing at the Miami Open after he ended Francisco Cerundolo’s run 6-4, 6-1 on Friday afternoon. The Norwegian struck six aces and broke Cerundolo four times to cruise in one hour and 34 minutes.

Ruud is the first player from his country to reach a Masters 1000 final

It means a lot…. This is where you would like to do well.

Casper Ruud

“It means a lot,” Ruud assured. “I am still young. This and the Grand Slams, of course, are the biggest stages in the sport and this is where you would like to do well. Since I was a little kind I watched pretty much all of [these finals], when I was young and sitting on the sofa. It’s fun to be here myself. I’m enjoying and hopefully I can deliver a good match on Sunday.”

It wasn’t his best match on Friday, but good enough to get the job done. The world No. 8 at least managed to raise his level following a slow start, using momentum from taking a competitive first set to dominate the second.

“It was a bit of shaky start but I think we both played quite well,” Ruud assessed. “He came out feeling good. He broke me right away and I got the break back luckily right away. I kind of stole the set with a break that came a little bit out of nowhere. The second set was physical; it was tough. It is Miami heat; it’s quite humid and tough sometimes.”

It was a tough end of the road for Cerundolo, who had never won a hard-court match on the main tour in his entire career prior to arriving in Miami. Now the 23-year-old Argentine owns five such wins, and his ranking is expected to climb from No. 103 to 51st.

Ruud awaits Hurkacz or Alcaraz in Miami final

Friday’s second semi-final will pit defending champion Hubert Hurkacz against a red-hot Carlos Alcaraz. It has been an amazing stay in Miami so far for Hurkacz, who also finds himself in the doubles final alongside John Isner. For Alcaraz, he has now reached back-to-back semi-finals in Indian Wells and Miami.

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