ATP Masters – Rafael Nadal – Casper Ruud Nadal defeats Ruud, 7-5, 7-5

Nadal saves the honor. Already eliminated from the semi-finals race, the Spaniard, who was beaten in his first two games in Turin, won his match against a Casper Ruud who was already sure to be first in the green group and therefore logically not 100% (7-5, 7-5). The Spaniard was very adept at service, each time taking advantage of an air pocket on the other side of the net at the end of the set to win his last match of the year in 1h42.

Nadal can leave the Pala Alpitour with a little less regret. Dominated until then by Taylor Fritz and Félix Auger-Aliassime, the strong competitor had nothing to offer this Thursday. But at a time when he’d just suffered four consecutive defeats, this clash against the Roland Garros final he dominated in May should serve to find some benchmarks and, most importantly, some confidence for 2023. .

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Nadal found the shot on serve

In his face-off so far, he has shown with delicacy that he was fully mobilized by serving the fire. Author of 16 aces, winner of 93% of the points he contested behind his first ball, the Mallorcan chained shutouts in this part. Admittedly, Casper Ruud certainly lacked the motivation to offer him vigorous resistance. The Norwegian was still the first to score break points in this part.

But the US Open finalist lacked sharpness and precision on those two crucial points, which could have tipped the match in his favor. And finally, it was he who missed serve completely as First broke at 6-5 in favor of his opponent to let the first act slip away. Despite some avoidable fouls, Nadal seemed more comfortable with the slow pace dictated by Christian’s son and he enjoyed some forehands.

Finally, Act Two was almost a copy and paste of the first as Ruud, still trailing the man 6-5 in 22 Grand Slams, faltered again at the worst moment, allowing the Spaniard to claim his 21st win to attain a career as a master. Nadal will be able to use the end-of-season break to clear his head and recover before defending his title at the Australian Open next January-February. The world No. 4 will now have to remobilize to try and get a place in the final against Stefanos Tsitsipas or Andrey Rublev.

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