Casper Ruud breezes into Geneva Open last eight

Casper Ruud celebrates

Casper Ruud started his defence of the Geneva Open crown on Wednesday as the World No 8 breezed past Benoit Paire 6-3, 6-1.

Ruud has so far endured a lacklustre clay season by his standard, but was close to his best in his semi-final run in Rome last week and brought that form to the Geneva.

Paire started brightly, breaking in the third game of the match, but that was as good as it got for the 33-year-old at the Tennis Club de Geneve.

Ruud’s power and accuracy helped him reclaim the break immediately and thereafter Paire struggled for consistency.

Four further breaks of the Paire’s serve were to come as Ruud charged to a victory having spent five minutes short of an hour on court.

“Everything went my way a little bit,” said Ruud after improving his ATP career head to head lead over Paire to 4-0.

“I was broken at the beginning, so it was not the best start but then I found my game a little bit better and got some free points here and there.

“It probably wasn’t his best serving performance, so that helped me obviously and I was able to get my game going well.”

Ruud’s solid game was key to his win, but the Norwegian also produced moments of inspiration in a complete performance.

Thanasi Kokkinakis awaits in the last eight.

The Australian recovered from a difficult start to overcome Federico Delbonis, 1-6, 7-5, 7-5.

Meanwhile, fourth seed Reilly Opelka notched his first win of the European clay season with a 6-3, 7-5 win over Australian qualifier Christopher O’Connell.

The 24-year-old put his huge serve to good use in his victory over O’Connell, firing 13 aces and dropping just five points behind his first delivery in an 89-minute win.

Opelka’s last eight foe will be Tallon Griekspoor, after the Dutchman muscled past Swiss qualifier Johan Nikles, 6-3, 7-5.

Joao Sousa also enjoyed a comfortable 6-4, 6-3 victory over No. 25-ranked Nikoloz Basilashvili to book a quarter-final clash with third seed Denis Shapovalov or Ilya Ivashka.

Sousa broke fifth-seeded Basilashvili’s serve three times in an 83-minute win to improve his career head to head series lead over the Georgian to 2-0.