Obviously, Olympic tennis champion Alexander Zverev won his first duel with Norway’s Casper Ruud and reached the semi-finals of the Masters Series in Cincinnati.
The 24-year-old from Hamburg beat the two-year-old’s 11th in the world rankings on Friday (local time) in just 59 minutes 6:1, 6:3. A good week before the US Open kicks off in New York, Zverev meets Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas in a fight for a place in the final. The Russians Daniil Medvedev and Andrei Rublev will play the semi-final matches for the other men. This means that the top four manufacturers in the hard court event made it to the semi-finals.
Zverev has never played against Rudd before. En route to Zverev’s championship win in Acapulco in March, Rudd was unable to reach the quarter-finals due to a wrist injury. The Norwegian rookie caused a sensation this summer with three consecutive titles when he won clay-court tournaments in Stadion, Gstaad and Kitzbühel. However, he had no chance against Zverev, who played hard at the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
The world number five got his opponent’s first serve match and, after two more breaks, took the first set 6:1 in just 24 minutes. In the second, Zverev fell 2-0 after losing a serve, but eventually secured victory less than an hour later.
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Against Tsitsipas, who finished second, Zverev got a 2:6 score. He lost the last duel so far at the French Open in Paris this year in the semi-finals in five sets.
In the women’s competition held in parallel, three-time Grand Slam winner Angelique Kerber had previously reached the semi-finals. The 33-year-old Keeler advanced in a duel between two former Wimbledon winners 6:4, 3:3 against Petra Kvitova when the ailing Czech could no longer play. Kerber now has a chance to avenge his losing Wimbledon semi-final against world number one Ashleigh Barty of Australia. (dpa)
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