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Ruud wins third Geneva title to head to Paris on a high

By AFP

May 25, 2024 09:02 PM


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Casper Ruud downed Novak Djokovic's conqueror Tomas Machac on Saturday to win a third Geneva title and head into the French Open with a trophy in his racquet bag.

Norwegian Ruud, the world number seven, beat 44th-ranked Czech Machac 7-5, 6-3 in an hour and 47 minutes.

Second seed Ruud is at home on the Parc des Eaux-Vives clay, having won the Geneva title in 2021 and 2022.

Ruud was the runner-up in the last two French Opens, and a third Geneva title gives the 25-year-old a timely boost as he makes the journey to Paris. Nobody has won more matches on the ATP tour this year than Ruud.

"Another tough match," said Ruud.

"I'm sorry for Tomas.

"I think he played a great match. He definitely deserved to win the first set.

"It's been a very good season so far."

The 28-man Geneva tournament serves as a warm-up before the French Open, the second of the year's four Grand Slams, which begins on Sunday.

It was Ruud's second match of the day, having beaten Italy's in-form Flavio Cobolli 1-6, 6-1, 7-6 (7/4) in a roller coaster semi-final.

The contest between Ruud and Cobolli, on a career-high ranking of 56, was meant to take place on Friday evening but was called off due to persistent rain.

"I'll just take a shower, rest, have some lunch and then start again," Ruud said after his first win of the day.

World number one Djokovic took a late wildcard to play in Geneva in a bid to reverse an alarming dip in form ahead of Roland-Garros, where he has won three times.

But the 24-time Grand Slam champion was left feeling "worried" about his French Open title defence after falling 6-4, 0-6, 6-1 to Machac in the Geneva semi-finals on Friday.

For Czech number two Machac, it was the biggest win of his career and propelled the 23-year-old into his maiden tour-level final, which will shoot him up to a career-high 34 in the world rankings.

The last Czech to reach the Geneva final was Tomas Smid in 1987.

In the French Open first round, Ruud will face Brazilian qualifier Felipe Meligeni Alves. Machac will face Portuguese number one Nuno Borges.


AFP


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