Casper Ruud defeats Ben Shelton in the ATP Barcelona final

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With only six victories outside of Estoril in 2023, Casper Ruud is yet to find his form. With a 6-2, 7-6 victory over the young American Ben Shelton in the second round, the Norwegian is off to a strong start in Barcelona.

To win in straight sets, Casper needed to save four of five break points and break Ben three times out of eight chances. In the tie break, Ruud played focused tennis to take the lead and earn his 11th victory of the season after failing to serve out the match in the second set.

Despite making a valiant attempt in the second set, Shelton had three more service winners but was unable to force a decider. The young gun continued to sling winners and mistakes, but he was unable to perform at the top of his game in the tie break to extend the contest.

Before Shelton started having problems at 1-1, both players performed admirably in the first few games of the match.

Ben Shelton was defeated by Casper Ruud in the second round of the Barcelona Open.

On the third break point, a left-handed player blasted a backhand error, resulting in a break and a 2-1 deficit.

When his opponent sent a forehand long in the following game, Casper delivered another return game, solidifying the break with a hold at love in game four. Following Shelton’s careless drop shot in game six, Ruud won a lengthy rally to establish a 5-1 lead and force the opposition to serve to stay in the set.

Ben scored a service winner in game seven to extend the set, and Casper closed it out at 5-2 after 29 minutes with a serve winner. The second set began with the Norwegian losing some ground, but she held off break attempts in games two and four to keep the score at 2-2.

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After Ruud’s brilliant backhand crosscourt return winner in game five, Shelton failed to take advantage of his opportunities and dropped his serve. The American was forced to serve in order to stay in the game after the Norwegian delivered two excellent holds and created a 5-3 lead.

With a thunderous serve, Shelton held at 15 in game nine and had one more opportunity to extend the struggle. In the tenth game, Ben recovered the break with a strong forehand crosscourt winner that brought him back to 5-5 after Casper sprayed a forehand error at 30-30.

In the eleventh game, Ben saved a break point and started a tie break that he had to win. After Ben’s double fault in the fifth point, Casper earned two mini-breaks and widened the deficit to 4-1. The American’s backhand error gave the Norwegian five match chances, and she won the first one to move on to the third round.

Casper Ruud defeats Ben Shelton in the ATP Barcelona final
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By Antonio Zaccaro

Hello, I'm Antonio Zaccaro, tennis lover since I was 13. I started this blog out of pure passion, and now it has become my job. I constantly follow all the tournaments and I am always updated on all the news. What I know, I share with all my readers. My considerations are the result of hours and hours spent in front of screens and on tennis courts.