After a week full of riveting tennis, just two men are still standing at the ATP Gstaad Open. Casper Ruud is fresh from winning a title just last Sunday and will be hungry for another. On the other side of the net, Hugo Gaston is competing in the final of an ATP event for the first time in his career. He will be desperate to go one step further and win his first ATP tournament. But who will claim the title?
ATP Gstaad Final Prediction
Casper Ruud vs Hugo Gaston
Head-to-Head: Ruud 1-0 Gaston
Ruud made short work of an in-form Vit Kopriva in just an hour and 14 minutes for a straight-set victory. In the semifinal, Ruud took a little time to get used to Kopriva’s power, and was broken in the first game. But he immediately broke back in the next game and gained some rhythm. Kopriva’s unpredictability seemed to trouble him less and errors started to creep into Kopriva’s game as he faltered at important points.
Once Ruud settled down, he did what he does so well these days, namely hanging tough, hammering forehands, and winning the right points. Ruud has also developed into an excellent defender, which frustrates opponents and forces them into making errors. Also, he has had a good overall first-serve percentage this week and is moving very well on the court. Ruud will surely now view this as a good chance to add another trophy to his collection.
Gaston, meanwhile, came from behind to prevail against Laslo Djere in three sets. Gaston’s last three matches have all gone the distance, but the Frenchman once again displayed his resilience and ability to return some of Djere’s best shots. Gaston is extremely dangerous from the forehand wing when in position. Also, his proficiency in hitting drop shots at will gives him an important weapon against baseliners. That being said, Gaston was arguably lucky to win so many of the crunch points due to Djere’s errors.
Djere missed some easy shots that should’ve been made and probably would have been on a better day. With his next opponent similar to Djere, but offering more in terms of variety and power, Gaston looks to be in for a struggle if he hopes to win his first title on Tour. Indeed, Ruud is looking almost invincible on clay at the moment. He has a great defense, superb court coverage, and he has mastered the knack of peaking at the right time very well now.
He is not only a superb counterpuncher, but also an enforcer. Like most clay specialists, he can cover the court effectively and hit with a lot of topspin; but very few can dictate play the way he does. Gaston prevailed against Djere because both of them were happy to rally and Djere missed a lot. But when Djere hit the ball with real power, Gaston struggled to stay with the Serbian. Ruud is more consistent than Djere, and also more powerful. Furthermore, Ruud is not content just grinding and he will waste no time unleashing his monster forehands on Gaston’s weaker backhand.
Ruud and Gaston have met once previously, when they were aged 19 and 17 respectively, in the final round of qualifying at the Paris Masters in 2019, with Ruud winning in three sets. Both of them were more or less unknown at that time, and hadn’t tasted much success. Now they face off again, but this time it’s in the final at the ATP Gstaad Open and the stakes are higher. Ranking-wise, Ruud was the better player at that time, and he is still the better one. Ruud is too strong at the moment, and should not face many problems in overcoming Gaston, provided he does not completely lose his radar. Ruud should be able to seal the deal in two sets.
Prediction: Ruud in 2
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