Casper Ruud sets Estoril Open final against ‘good friend’ Miomir Kecmanovic

James Richardson
Casper Ruud in action

World No 5 Casper Ruud needed to hold off a fightback from in-from Quentin Halys to book his place in the Estoril Open final where he will meet Miomir Kecmanovic of Serbia.

Ruud came up with a 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(2) victory to progress to his 16th tour-level final on Saturday at the ATP 250 event hosted at Estadio Millenium.

It is also the first time this season that Ruud has reached a championship match after a difficult first quarter.

Ruud is the top seed in Estoril, but he has lost both of his ATP Tour matches against Kecmanovic.

The most recent meeting between Halys and Ruud was a five-setter at the 2018 Australian Open when the latter was a Next Gen star.

“It was another great match, a long match, a close and exciting match,” said Ruud.

“I’m just very happy that it went in my favour. It’s just some points here and there that decide a match like this… I’m happy to win a match 7-6 in the third. That’s always a great feeling.

“Quentin has a great serve, great power from the baseline. It was tough for me to find a rhythm in the rallies but in the end I was just trying to stay there and make him play, and luckily it went my way.”

Kecmanovic was imperious in a 6-3, 6-1 win over Marco Cecchinato that might suggest he is the favourite to win the title.

The Serbian has not dropped a set in his four victories in Estoril, while en route to his fourth tour-level final and second of 2023 after Delray Beach.

The 23-year-old required just 68 minutes to put Cecchinato away, saving both the break points he faces and converting four of his eight break opportunities while racing to victory.

Ruud expects an enjoyable but hard-fought final against a player who is playing at a very high level.

“It’s going to be fun. Miomir is a good friend of mine, one of my better friends on Tour. It’s going to be an exciting match. To play each other in the final is going to be fun, for the first time in our career,” Ruud said.

“He’s been playing great, so I have to be prepared for a very tough match. He’s been winning straight sets and killing everyone almost. So I have to be ready and just hoping that I can play well and have fun tomorrow in another final.”

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