Ruud Downs Opelka, Secures Final Spot In Geneva
Reigning Gonet Geneva Open champion Casper Ruud moved to within one win of retaining his title Friday, blunting big-serving American Reilly Opelka 7-6(2), 7-5 to reach the final in Switzerland.
The Norwegian, who beat Denis Shapovalov in the Geneva final last year, demonstrated great agility against Opleka as he soaked up the World No. 18’s thunderous groundstrokes in the lively conditions to extend his perfect ATP Head2Head series record against the fourth seed to 4-0.
Ruud has yet to drop a set this week, having arrived at the ATP 250 event off the back of a run to the semi-finals in Rome. By reaching the final after 90-minutes, the second seed is the first player to advance to multiple Geneva championship matches since home favourite Stan Wawrinka lifted the trophy in 2016 and 2017.
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The 23-year-old, currently No. 9 in the Pepperstone ATP Race To Turin, is aiming to capture his second tour-level title of the season after clinching the crown in Buenos Aires in February.
Ruud has won five of the past six ATP 250 clay-court events he has played and will look to improve that record when he faces Portugal’s Joao Sousa in the final on Saturday.
Sousa overcame former World No. 7 Richard Gasquet 6-2, 6-2 to advance to his 12th ATP Tour final, but first on clay since 2018, when he lifted the trophy on home soil in Estoril.
It is the second time the 33-year-old has reached the championship match in Geneva, after enjoying a run to the final in 2015. Sousa captured his fourth tour-level crown in Pune in February.