Dual ATP 500 week opens with huge upsets as Casper Ruud and Carlos Alcaraz lose
The Astana and Japan Open’s have both lost their top-seeded players, Carlos Alcaraz and Casper Ruud, in the first round as huge upsets start a week with two ATP 500 tournaments on the go.
In Tokyo, Casper Ruud suffered a huge upset as he was not only beaten but totally blown off the court by Spaniard Jaume Munar who earned his second Top 10 win in 13 attempts as he downed the Norwegian top seed 6-3, 6-3.
Neither Ruud nor Munar are hard court specialists, but the latter’s game was on point.
“I think it’s one of the best [wins of my career],” Munar said post-match. “Casper is a great player. We all know that maybe this is not his best surface, not even mine. But I managed to play the tennis I needed to play today.
“I think it wasn’t a great match but from my side I did what I needed to do. Very happy to be through. Casper is one of the best players in the world right now.”
Ruud just wasn’t at his game, but he wasn’t leaning on any excuses in the wake of his defeat.
“I couldn’t find the level I needed to today,” said Ruud. “I wasn’t able to get my feet going or the game going. If I want to play well I need to move well, and that wasn’t the case today.
“[There are] many things that I can make excuses about, but at the end it was not my day and Jaume was the better player, and you saw it clearly in the score.”
Meanwhile in Kazakhstan on Tuesday lucky loser David Goffin made the most of his second chance at the Astana Open by upsetting World No 1 Carlos Alcaraz 7-5, 6-3 to earn the biggest win of his season.
“I always believe that I have the level to cause some trouble against those guys,” Goffin said. “Of course, it has not been my best period, I haven’t been playing really well in the past few tournaments, but I always believe, and practice and you never know.
“When you play against the World No. 1 on a big stage, big crowd, the fire inside gives you so much power to play your best tennis because you don’t have any choice. You have to fight and give your best and that was the case today. I always believed I had it and I am happy you can still it there.”
The defeat ends a ten-match winning streak for Alcaraz at ATP 500 tournaments, but his place as World No 1 is still safe as he sports a big lead over World No 2 Rafael Nadal who is not in action this week.
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