“Ice Man” Ruud into last four at UTS Grand Final, battles past Schwartzman

Casper Ruud will face Jack Draper in the semi-finals of UTS London

Casper Ruud UTS London Casper Ruud (UTS London)

Casper “The Ice Man” Ruud is the next man into the semi-finals of the UTS Grand Final in London, having defeated Diego Schwartzman, El Peque, 16-10, 7-16, 13-12, 17-8.

Both knew that the winner of the match would progress to the semi-finals – and would face Jack Draper, the winner of Pool B.

“I’m super happy to win,” said Ruud afterwards. “All of us are coming from practice the last week, so it’s nice to get a sense of how we’re doing, how we’re playing – I’m happy to move on to the semi-final.”

Ruud: We’ve had many tough battles

The Ice Man used his bonus card smartly to close out the first quarter, taking it 16-10 – but it was a spell of play with plenty of errors from both players.

“We’ve had many tough battles and I’m sure the next quarters will be tough as well,” reflected Ruud at the first break.

“I served very bad,” admitted Schwartzman. “I have to improve!”

And he did, even serving up an ace as he took the second quarter 16-7.

Ruud was deft with his approaches to the net at the start of the third quarter, while El Peque employed the volley to good effect – but it was The Ice Man who edged past by a single point to win it 13-12.

Schwartzman faded badly in the fourth quarter, playing his bonus card but missing what looked like an easy smash to leave himself at 15-8 down with less than 20 seconds to go.

And Ruud finished off the match with a winner down the line and round the net post, followed by the deciding quarter point to take it 17-8.

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