WATCH: Casper Ruud’s ‘revenge’ on Ben Shelton

Casper Ruud

Casper Ruud cruised past Ben Shelton at the Barcelona Open to seal his spot in the third round of the ATP 500 event.

Both players were good on the day, but Ruud was ultimately the last man standing as he exacted revenge following Shelton’s stunning upset at the Cincinnati Masters in August last year.

The Norwegian currently sits at No 3 in the ATP Ranking, 34 places in front of Shelton so the American was certainly the underdog going into the match.

Shelton claimed a spot in the round of 32 after defeating fellow American Mackenzie McDonald in his opener in the Spanish city. That match was certainly a close one ending with a score of 7-5, 6-4 in the 20-year-old’s favour.

Following Shelton’s victory in their only previous meeting in Cincinnati, Ruud certainly had revenge on his mind. The pair battled for one hour and 39 minutes before the Norwegian claimed a 6-2, 7-6 (7-1) victory.

“Obviously I wanted my revenge,” said Ruud after defeating Shelton.

He added: “He was playing great, and I think I was playing great. I played a perfect first set and he was making maybe a few too many mistakes.. But I think all throughout the second set was tough games, tough rallies.

“It can be difficult. In the first set you feel like you get a lot of free points, and so on, but then suddenly he starts playing almost like a wall and playing really good from on defence. It’s tough when someone changes in the middle of the match, but I’m very happy that I was able to stay calm and play a very good tie-break.”

The Norwegian put on an excellent service display, having won 76% (39/51) of his points from his first serve. However, his second serve success could have been better as he only managed to claim 44% (8/18) of the available points. His break points success could also have been more convincing, having only converted 38% (3/8) of the opportunities given to him.

Shelton was not as clinical as his opponent, having won 59% (26/41) of the possible points from his first serve. However, the American managed to put up a good effort from his second serves, having won 46% (13/28) of the available points from his second serve. Unfortunately for the American, his break points left him short after only winning 20% (1/5) of them.

The youngster ended the match, having served three aces and one double fault, which did not assist the young star in securing a spot in the next round.

Ruud is set to face either Francisco Cerundolo or Francesco Passaro in the third round of the tournament on Thursday.

The world No 3 will be looking to produce his best run at the tournament by getting past the quarter-final for the first time in his career.

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