Classy Casper Ruud sets up hat-trick of Geneva Open titles with return win over Flavio Cobolli

Saturday, 25 May 2024 at 13:25
Casper Ruud will face Tomas Machac in the final of the Geneva Open on Saturday afternoon after hauling himself back from the brink to take down Flavio Cobolli returning to do so in a semi-final clash that was delayed from Friday.
He saved a match point before rallying through 1-6, 6-1, 7-6. Saving it on serve at 4-5 30/40 in the deciding set, he soon breezed into a 4-0 lead in the tie-break before saving his skin. The saying goes never count Ruud out and he is proving that again here.
After being some dominant in the early clay court season, he seemed to hit a snag with the French Open begging and his name being touted around as a potential favourite. He lost in Rome in particular to Miomir Kecmanovic and injury fears were there for the Norwegian surrounding his back. But he like Novak Djokovic entered Geneva, albeit a tournament he loves. Both were seeking matches.
But it is Ruud that perhaps given that he has had a bit of a grind on the surface this week that goes in with the better position and the scares that he needs. Now he faces Djokovic's conqueror Tomas Machac though.
It is very much veteran v novice in that regard as Ruud has won this title twice and is a bit of a dominating force on this level of European Clay. Compared to the ever-improving Machac who is no novice in regards to his career, but he has never reached an ATP final until today. They play this afternoon.
Machac will have had more rest given that he hasn't had to play in two parts. Albeit the Djokovic factor will loom. Many players seem to fall off a cliff after beating a big name with Luca Nardi for instance being the last against Novak in Indian Wells. So how he handles this depends. Alejandro Tabilo though certainly showed the blueprint in Rome. Of course too it is a battle of Novak conquerors during the clay court season with Ruud and Machac both sealing wins over him during this past two months.
“It was very, very difficult,” reflected Ruud. “I was one point away from losing. I was just able to hang in there and it was a really tough match. I’m happy to have been able to come back in the third set and pull through. It was a good confidence win for me and I’m looking forward to the final in a few hours.”

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