Ruud reaches semi-finals in Rome after a thriller – succeeds on 15th break point

Ruud had a total of 15 break opportunities in the match, but only managed to capitalize on the last one. The break paved the way for victory in a match he won 7-6 (9-7), 7-5.

On the other hand, the opponent only gets two break opportunities.

Denis Shapovalov beat Rafael Nadal on Thursday night, but had a tougher time against fifth seed Ruud. There, two different playing styles meet.

The Canadian left-hander likes to make decisions early and gets to the net more often, whereas Ruud prefers to make several ball exchanges before deciding. They had met once before, and even then Ruud emerged victorious in last year’s final in Geneva.

The players followed each other up to 4-3. Ruud then had four chances to break Shapovalov, but his opponent managed to save himself.

The first set ended in a tiebreak. Ruud was lucky to “break” with a lucky net strike to make it 8-7 and take home the first point.

In the second set, the players also followed each other closely. Ruud got the first break of his serve at 3-3 but was unable to capitalize on the opportunity. At 5-5, he had a chance to break nine times before moving up to 6-5. He easily serves in sets and matches.

Ruud may meet world number one Novak Djokovic in the semifinals, but first the Serb must beat Felix Auger-Aliassime of Canada.

Ken Robbins

"Bacon nerd. Future teen idol. Zombie aficionado. Troublemaker. Travel buff. Award-winning reader."

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