ATP Finals: Casper Ruud tops Felix Auger-Aliassime in straight sets

Casper Ruud is off to a winning start at the ATP Finals in Turin. The last year’s semi-finalist defeated Felix Auger-Aliassime 7-6, 6-4 in an hour and 51 minutes, securing 200 ATP points and beating the Canadian for the third time in a row. The Norwegian never faced a break point and kept the pressure on the other side. Felix did not play badly either, playing against only one break point but losing ground in the pivotal moments to finish his first ATP Finals match on the losing side. The Canadian had more winners and unforced errors, and he failed to make the advantage with his initial shot, hitting the same number of service winners as his opponent. Casper built the lead in the shortest and mid-range exchanges, serving well and converting his chances to emerge at the top. World no. 4 made a strong start and held at love in the encounter’s first game. Felix responded with a fine hold in game two, and there was nothing for the returners in the rest of the set.

Casper Ruud defeated Felix Auger-Aliassime at the ATP Finals.

They barely won a couple of points, and the tie break became inevitable when Auger-Aliassime held at 15 in game 12. The Canadian moved 2-1 in front with a couple of winners, and the Norwegian repeated that in the following two to open a 3-2 gap. Felix hit a costly double fault in the sixth point to fall 4-2 behind and pulled the mini-break back in the eighth point for 4-4. Casper opened a 5-4 gap with a service winner and increased the advantage with his rival sprayed a backhand error. Felix sent a forehand long in the 11th point to hand the opener to Casper after 59 minutes.

They still served well at the start of the second set, and Auger-Aliassime landed an ace for 2-1. Ruud held after deuces in game four before the lower-ranked player moved 3-2 in front. The Canadian sprayed a couple of forehand errors in the seventh game and faced two break points, the first of the match. Casper converted the first after Felix’s double fault, moving 4-3 in front and closer to the finish line. The Norwegian came from 30-0 down in the eighth game and closed it with an ace for 5-3. Auger-Aliassime served to stay in the match in game nine and held at love to prolong the battle. Ruud served for the win in game ten and fired a service winner to seal the deal and make a winning start ahead of the duels with Rafael Nadal and Taylor Fritz.