Casper Ruud scores first win over Novak Djokovic

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Casper Ruud will play for his first Masters 1000 title versus Stefanos Tsitsipas

World no. 10 Casper Ruud will compete in his second Masters 1000 final and the first in Monte Carlo. Casper took down world no. 1 Novak Djokovic 6-4, 1-6, 6-4 in the semi-final in two hours and 17 minutes, securing his first victory over the Serb and the top-3 rivals and setting the title clash against Stefanos Tsitsipas in Sunday’s final.

Djokovic took 11 points more than Ruud, but not the crucial ones. They grabbed four breaks each, and Casper emerged at the top with a late break in the decider. Novak struggled behind the second serve in the opening set, falling two breaks behind before pulling one break back.

Casper served well in the closing stages and grabbed his first set against a formidable rival in their sixth encounter!

The Norwegian made a strong start and landed a forehand winner in the first game of the encounter for an early break.

Ruud produced a fine hold in game two to cement the lead and closed the fourth game after deuces for a 3-1 advantage. Novak squandered a game point in the next one and lost serve after a wayward forehand, the shot bothering him since the start of the duel.

Djokovic pulled one break back in the sixth game, reducing the deficit and producing a serve & volley combo in the next one for 3-4. Ruud grabbed the eighth game with an ace and served for the set at 5-4 after Djokovic’s fine performance in the previous one.

Casper Ruud defeated Novak Djokovic in the Monte Carlo semi-final.

The Serb served at 24% in the second set.

However, it was not an obstacle for him after defending the second serve superbly. Novak faced no break points and kept the pressure on the other side, mixing his strokes nicely and raising his level. Casper failed to stay in touch, suffering two breaks and allowing world no.

1 to force a decider. Ruud netted a forehand in the second game to fall 2-0 behind before Djokovic held at love a few minutes later for a 3-0 advantage. Novak landed a perfect drop shot winner in the fifth game for 4-1 and welcomed three double faults from Casper in the next one for a break and a 5-1 lead.

The Serb served for the set in game seven and created set points with a backhand down the line winner.

Djokovic converted the first with a service winner, wrapping up the set and forcing a decider after an hour and 28 minutes.

Ruud made a fresh start in the final set, landing a backhand down the line winner in the second game for a break point. Novak sprayed a forehand error, losing serve and falling 2-0 behind. The Norwegian produced comfortable holds in games three and five, moving 4-1 front and closer to the finish line.

Djokovic stepped in and rattled off three games, pulling the break back at love and leveling the score at 4-4. Ruud moved 5-4 in front on his serve and secured a crucial break in game ten after Djokovic’s double fault, celebrating his first top-3 win.

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