Casper Ruud has reached the semi-final in Madrid, his third Masters semi-final in a row on clay, and says he’s playing the tennis of his life.
Ruud eased past Alexander Bublik 7-5, 6-1 in the quarter-final and will now face world number ten Matteo Berrettini on Saturday.
The young Norwegian is in fine form, not only reaching three consecutive clay-court Master semi-finals, but also reaching the semi’s in his previous two tournaments – Monte-Carlo and Munich.
Ahead of Saturday’s clash the 22-year-old, who is currently ranked 22nd, says after missing last years clay season he is ‘doubly motivated’ and that is evident in his play.
“It’s a great feeling, it’s my third Masters 1000 semi-final, third in a row on clay,” Ruud said.
“I’m just playing the tennis of my life for the moment and I’m enjoying it.
“I’ve just had an unbelievable motivation to play the European clay swing and when we didn’t get to play it last year, I was very sad,” Ruud said.
“So I think I just have double motivation compared to last year.”
Ruud has won two of the three head to head encounters with Berrettini, both of which have come on clay, with the only Berrettini win coming on a hard surface.
That will give the Norwegian extra confidence to become the first unseeded player to make the Madrid final.
“This is the third time now; I hope that’s the lucky charm. The previous two times I lost to Novak Djokovic, then I lost to Andrey Rublev,’ said Ruud.
“At least this time it will be against a lower-ranked player.”
“I guess I’m just enjoying it here in Madrid, playing good tennis. Today was almost without any unforced errors.
That’s probably the biggest confidence boost you can give yourself for a big match tomorrow.”
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