Casper Ruud Rallies Past Matteo Berrettini To Retain Gstaad Crown | ATP Tour

The Swiss air brings out the best in Casper Ruud.

The top seed engineered a mid-match turnaround at the EFG Swiss Open Gstaad on Sunday to complete a 4-6, 7-6(4), 6-2 victory against Matteo Berrettini for the title.

Second seed Berrettini appeared in control in the final at the clay-court ATP 250 event after clinching the opening set and carving out the only three break points of the second. Yet Ruud dug deep to clinch the second-set tie-break and he dominated the final set with his high-powered forehand as he secured his ninth ATP Tour title, and his eighth on clay, with a two-hour, 34-minute win .

With his successful title defense, Ruud improved his tour-level record in Switzerland to 16-0. In addition to his Gstaad titles, the 23-year-old has also lifted the trophy at the past two editions of the Gonet Geneva Open.

Berrettini and Ruud were tied at 2-2 in their ATP Head2Head series coming into Sunday’s final, and that record was reflected in a tight first set that was ultimately decided by crucial moments in the fifth and sixth games. Berrettini’s clean ballstriking, particularly off the forehand wing, enabled him to convert his second break point for a 3-2 lead and the Italian then fended off three break-back chances in the next game.

That flurry of break point opportunities was followed by a period of serving dominance. After Berrettini stayed solid behind his delivery to see out the first set, seven of the 12 games in the second set were held by the server to love. Despite Ruud appearing under pressure after dropping the opening point on serve in the tie-break, the top seed crushed his forehand consistently to reel off five points in a row for a 5/1 lead that proved unassailable for 2018 champion Berrettini.

That breakthrough seemed to energize Ruud further, and the World No. 5 dictated proceedings in the final set as a double break of the previously impenetrable Berrettini serve ensured the Norwegian ultimately eased to victory having won 80 per cent (45/56) of points behind his own delivery.

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