Rafael Nadal of Spain beat Casper Ruud of Norway 7-5 7-5 in his last Green group match of the ATP Finals on Thursday. It was the 36-year-old’s first win in the tournament after his back-to-back losses against Taylor Fritz and Felix Auger-Aliassime earlier this week.
Thursday’s match lasted for an hour and 42 minutes as Nadal had no problem extending his winning run against the 23-year-old Ruud.
Two keys to Rafael Nadal’s win over Casper Ruud at the ATP Finals
#1. Nadal served with a lot of firepower:
Nadal was absolutely world-class with his serving on Thursday and fired as many as 16 aces in the match. On a fast surface, Ruud often had no chance against Nadal’s barrage of serves, as the Spaniard never got broken in the match.
Moreover, the Spaniard won 93% of the points on his first serve in the match and did not lose a point on his serve in the second set until he committed a double fault in the ninth game. The Spaniard managed to get a break each in the two sets and had no problem registering a win.
#2. Nadal’s forehand did not give Ruud much respite:
Nadal was also at his fearsome best while hitting his venomous forehand. He was particularly impressive while hitting the inside-out and down-the-line forehand on the day and hit 16 winners off the wing.
However, Nadal could not hit his crosscourt forehand with a sharp angle on most of the occasions, but whenever he could, he almost always managed to hit a powerful inside-out forehand subsequently after having pushed the Norwegian to a corner. The Spaniard finished the match with 37 winners against Ruud’s 20 and committed 16 unforced errors against the Norwegian’s 18.
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