Reflecting on his superb comeback, Rune said, “I thought to myself at that moment that I have nothing to lose, he will probably win the match. So I said to myself to play free and have fun because it would be probably my last set here.”
French Open and US Open runner-up Ruud came out on top first, winning a tightly contested opening set with his powerful forehand, which resulted in an impressive 22 winners. As Ruud earned a break in the second set to take a 4-2 lead, it looked like he was firmly on course for a place in the final.
However, Rune’s resolve remained unwavering and a minor shoulder issue prompted him to take a medical time out. Surprisingly, this interruption seemed to disrupt Ruud’s pace as the Norwegian, who recently triumphed in Estoril, faltered, allowing Rune to break his serve twice and force a decisive third set.
Seizing the momentum, Rune capitalized on a double fault from Ruud, securing a crucial break and establishing a 3-1 lead in the final set. The 20-year-old Dane continued to assert his dominance, never looking back as he sealed a memorable victory over Ruud, their first encounter having resulted in Rune’s favor after four previous encounters.
Pleased with his performance, Rune expressed his satisfaction saying, “I really played some of my best tennis, especially in the matches against Novak and Casper. Such tough players to play against. I had to find my best tennis , and I really didn’t I can’t find it today until the end. That’s why I returned it.
As the Italian Open continued, the second semi-final with Stefanos Tsitsipas And Daniel Medvedev started after a brief delay of rain, adding to the anticipation and excitement surrounding the tournament.
In the women’s final scheduled for later on Saturday, the Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina must face the Ukrainian Anhelina Kalinina. Tennis fans eagerly await the thrilling conclusion to the Italian Open, with high-stakes matches promising thrilling performances.
(With contributions from Reuters)