Miami Open Daily Preview: Casper Ruud Plays Carlos Alcaraz in the Men’s Final - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

Focus

Miami Open Daily Preview: Casper Ruud Plays Carlos Alcaraz in the Men’s Final

Published

on

Carlos Alcaraz on Friday evening in Miami (twitter.com/WTA_insider)

On Sunday in Miami, either Casper Ruud or Carlos Alcaraz will win the biggest title of their career.  Both men initially rose through the rankings based on clay court results, but both have now proven to be formidable forces on hard courts as well.

23-year-old Casper Ruud has achieved three Masters 1000 semifinals on clay, and six of his seven career titles also came on that surface. The Norwegian arrived in Miami with a 1-8 record against top 10 opposition on hard courts, yet earned an impressive three-set victory over Sascha Zverev in the quarterfinals.  All his other victories at this event have been decisive straight-setters.  Ruud will reach a new career-high of No.7 in the world regardless of Sunday’s result.

18-year-old Carlos Alcaraz won an ATP 250 title last July, an ATP 500 title in February, and may now add a Masters 1000 title to his collection.  But his real breakthrough occurred as last summer’s US Open, when he electrified audiences with his run to the quarterfinals, highlighted by an upset of Stefanos Tsitsipas in a fifth-set tiebreak.  He repeated that feat by defeating Tsitsipas again at this tournament, and has now claimed 22 of his last 24 matches.  Alcaraz has already guaranteed himself a top 12 debut come Monday, and would move up to No.11 with a win on Sunday.

Also on Sunday, the women’s doubles championship will be decided, as the top seeds face the 2020 US Open champions.


Casper Ruud (6) vs. Carlos Alcaraz (14) – 1:00pm on Stadium Court

Their only previous encounter occurred last April on clay in Marbella, with Alcaraz prevailing 6-2, 6-4.  Back then, Carlos was a wild card ranked 133rd in the world.  12 months later, he’s improved his ranking by more than 100 spots.  His only two losses this season have been a fifth-set tiebreak heartbreaker to Matteo Berrettini, and an over three-hour three-setter at the hands of his idol, Rafael Nadal.  Neither of those are losses to be ashamed of.

Casper Ruud’s results on hard courts have progressed significantly.  He was 16-27 on the surface prior to 2021, but is now 36-13 since.  His forehand has been a tremendous weapon this fortnight,  and his first serve percentage has increased significantly this season.  And notably, Casper is 6-0 in his last six finals.

However, it’s been a long time since any young male player has been as impressive as Carlos Alcaraz.  His speed, power, perseverance, composure, and high tennis IQ make for an intimidating package.  And against an opponent who is also into new territory on Sunday in a Masters 1000 final, Alcaraz should be favored to win his first of many titles at this level.


Veronika Kudermetova and Elise Mertens (1) vs. Laura Siegemund and Vera Zvonareva – Not Before 3:00pm on Stadium Court

Both teams are vying for the their second title of the season.  This is the first time these teams have met. Kudermetova and Mertens have survived three consecutive third-set 10-point tiebreaks, while Siegemund and Zvonareva claimed one in the semifinals by a score of 13-11.


Sunday’s full Order of Play is here.

Focus

Emma Raducanu Finding Positives Ahead Of Eastbourne Return And ‘Pristine’ Wimbledon Experience

Emma Raducanu will play Eastbourne for the first time this week.

Published

on

(@TheTennisLetter - Twitter)

Emma Raducanu is finding the positives as she looks forward to a big next few weeks.

The former US Open champion is preparing to play Wimbledon for the first time in two years.

Last year, Raducanu was undergoing multiple wrist surgeries but now the Brit returns to her home Grand Slam.

In an exclusive interview with Porsche Raducanu described Wimbledon as ‘Pristine’ as she prepares for a big two weeks at SW19, “I’m looking forward to competing at Wimbledon this year,” Raducanu explained.

“Obviously, Wimbledon is Wimbledon, and that speaks for itself, but I’m most looking forward to the stage which I missed last year and now I’m looking forward to coming back and being in a better place than I was in 2022!

“For me, it’s always about the rich history and traditions, like the pristine grass courts and iconic white dress code. It’s always the tournament that every player dreams of winning.

“The courts at Wimbledon are obviously pristine and look beautiful. The aesthetics and tradition that come with the tournament are unparalleled. Being a British player at Wimbledon is incredible, the atmosphere is hard to put into words.

“I particularly love court 1 because I feel the fans get more involved, that coupled with everything else that Wimbledon brings gives you extra motivation to perform well.”

Heading into Wimbledon, Raducanu enters the tournament with a semi-final in Nottingham and is now prepared to play in Eastbourne for the first time.

Ahead of Eastbourne, Raducanu admitted she is finding the positives in her preparation and is looking forward to her experience in Eastbourne, “Preparation has been going well thanks. I have had a good last few days training in London before Eastbourne this week so excited to get going,” Raducanu stated.

“Yes, I took a lot of positives from Nottingham. I performed well, and it showed me that my game is strong on the grass, so yes, it’s given me positivity heading into Wimbledon. Most importantly for me though at Wimbledon I feel in a place where I’m in love with the sport. Whatever happens this Wimbledon, I have full belief in myself for the years to come too.

“I’ve never played in Eastbourne, it’s on the water which I like, minus the wind maybe and it’s another home tournament where I get to play in front of a home crowd! That’s the best part.”

Raducanu will face fellow Grand Slam champion Sloane Stephens in a blockbuster opening round match on Tuesday.

Continue Reading

Focus

Tommy Paul Downs Lorenzo Musetti Wins Maiden Grass Court Title At Queen’s Club

Tommy Paul is the new American number one!

Published

on

(@TheTennisLetter - Twitter)

Tommy Paul has won his maiden grass court title at Queen’s Club after defeating Lorenzo Musetti 6-1 7-6(8).

The fifth seed was too good for the Italian who never really got going as Paul claimed his first title at ATP 500 level.

It was Paul’s third ATP title of his career and moves to world number 12 after an impressive week.

Heading into the final, Paul had beaten Jack Draper and Sebastian Korda and the American continued his red-hot form in the opening set.

Incredible movement on the grass as Paul played efficient counter-attacking tennis as he frustrated Musetti early on.

The American secured the early break for a 3-0 lead as the world number 13 dictated with power and touch.

Looking for a response, Musetti aimed to dictate play on the backhand and the Italian’s serve was firing in the next game as he secured his only hold of the match.

However, Paul was too consistent and solid as the American broke again and would soon win the opening set 6-1.

In the second set, Musetti started more positively as he was more proactive and aggressive as he looked to control his power more.

Paul managed to outlast Musetti’s early power to keep moving the Italian about and creating angles to hit winners into.

After a controlled start, Musetti produced a reckless seventh game as erratic unforced errors saw Paul break for a 4-3 lead.

The American was calm and collected for the majority of the match but when serving for the match Paul faltered under pressure.

Too many missed first serves saw Musetti with an opportunity to break back and the Italian didn’t need a second invitation as a crisp backhand return winner sealed the break back to level the set at 5-5.

An inspired Musetti applied pressure on Paul with some phenomenal hitting from the baseline as he secured consistent winners.

The American held his nerve to force a second set tiebreak as the American looked to overcome some jitters.

It looked like Musetti was going to cruise to the tiebreak but the Italian squandered a 4-1 lead in what was a highly entertaining tiebreak.

In the end Paul would win the tiebreak 10-8 and secure his first ATP 500 title as well as becoming the new American number one.

Continue Reading

Focus

Jannik Sinner Wins Maiden Grass-Court Title In Halle

Published

on

Jannik Sinner - Parigi 2024 (foto X @ATPTour_ES)

Jannik Sinner has reached another milestone in his blossoming career after claiming his first title on grass at the Terra Wortmann Open in Halle. 

The world No.1 ousted fifth seed and doubles partner Hubert Hurkacz 7-6(8), 7-6,(2), in a tightly contested encounter. Sinner was sternly tested by the big-hitting Pole who knocked French Open finalist Alexander Zverev out of the tournament on Saturday. Nevertheless, he managed to come out on top to become only the eighth player in PIF ATP ranking history to claim a trophy in his first tournament as world No.1.

“This means a lot,” Sinner told TennisTV. “It was a tough match against Hubi. I knew that I had to serve really well. You play only a couple of really important points throughout the whole set. I tried to produce in the best possible way in the important moments. 
“I’m very happy about this tournament because it’s my first time winning (a title) on a grass court. It’s a good feeling.”

Proceedings got underway with a 53-minuite opening set which saw no breaks of serves during the first 12 games played. However, each player had one opportunity to do so during the early stages. In the tiebreak, Sinner continued to be troubled by Hurkacz after failing to maintain a 5-2 lead. Then at 6-5, he was unable to convert his first set point due to an ace from his opponent. He missed a second opportunity to do so before prevailing on his third by hitting a shot deep to the baseline that his rival returned into the net. Making Sinner the first player to take a set off Hurkacz this week. 

It was a case of deja vu in the second frame with both players standing strong behind their serve. Hurkacz was unable to find a way to break but he did win over the crowd after hitting a fantastic over-the-shoulder passing shot without looking to win a point. 

Meanwhile, Sinner continued to weather the storm as he closed in on victory. The second tiebreaker saw him capitalised on back-to-back unforced errors from his rival en route to a 5-1 lead. Two points later he earned his first match point with the help of another costly mistake from across the court before closing the match out with ease.

Sinner’s latest victory is only the second time he has beaten a top 10 player on the grass with his first triumph being against Carlos Alcaraz at Wimbledon two years ago. He is also the second player to win Halle whilst ranked No.1 in the world after Roger Federer. 

Heading into Wimbledon, the 22-year-old has won four ATP trophies so far this season on three different surfaces. He has now won 38 out of his last 41 matches played. 

“I’m looking forward to it,” Sinner said of the next Grand Slam. “Last year I made the semis and played some good tennis. So let’s see what’s coming this year. 
“For sure I’m more confident on this surface. Obviously, the grass here (in Halle) might be a bit different to Wimbledon but I have a week to prepare so hopefully it is going to be a good tournament.”

Sinner is the 17th active male player to win a tour-level title on all three surfaces. 

Continue Reading

Trending