ATP Finals: Casper Ruud overcomes slow start to beat Cameron Norrie

After a breakthrough season, Cameron Norrie got a chance to make his ATP Finals debut on Wednesday night as the second alternate. The Briton replaced Stefanos Tsitsipas and played on a high level in the opening set before losing to Casper Ruud 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 in an hour and 51 minutes. After failing to Novak Djokovic in the opening match, Casper struggled for half an hour against Cameron before raising his level from set number two to oust the opponent and set the deciding clash against Andrey Rublev on Friday for a place in the semis. Ruud defeated Norrie for the second time from as many encounters this year, firing ten aces and dropping only nine points in his games from set number two to keep the pressure on the other side and earn the victory with a single break in sets he won.

Casper Ruud defeated Cameron Norrie in three sets in Turin.

A left-hander held at 15 in his first ATP Finals encounter and closed the third game with a volley winner at the net for a 2-1 advantage. In the fourth game, the Norwegian sprayed a backhand mistake to experience a break and fall 3-1 down before Norrie held with a smash winner to cement the lead. Casper sent a forehand long in the sixth game to lose serve again, and Cameron fended off a break chance and sealed the opener in the next one for 6-1 in 32 minutes. The Briton secured the second set’s second game with a forehand down the line winner, and the Norwegian was ready to follow that pace.

After a volley mistake from his opponent, Ruud broke at 15 in the eighth game and held at 15 a few minutes later for 6-3 in half an hour. Ruud brought the final set’s fourth game home with a hold at love and built the advantage after Norrie’s double fault a few minutes later to forge a 3-2 advantage. Firing from all cylinders in those moments, Casper secured the sixth game with a forehand winner to confirm his lead and take another big step towards the finish line. The better-ranked player held at love in game eight and sealed the deal with a service winner after deuce at 5-4 to celebrate the first victory at this competition. 

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