Botic Bounces Casper In Miami Thriller | ATP Tour
Botic van de Zandschulp claimed the first Top 5 win of his career and extended Casper Ruud‘s disappointing 2022 season when he rallied from the brink of a double break in the final set to oust the 2022 finalist 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 at the Miami Open presented by Itau.
In a scrappy match in which both players made more than 30 unforced errors, World No. 4 Ruud ultimately paid the price for converting just two of 15 break point opportunities, including one of eight in the final set.
“It was an unbelievable tough match,” said van de Zandschulp, the 26th seed. “He had so many chances in the third set. When I broke back for 3-2 I was holding and had a feeling that I had a chance in his service games. At 5-4 I had one opportunity and I took it.”
Ruud, who reached Grand Slam finals in Paris and New York last year and the title match of the Nitto ATP Finals, has not won consecutive matches this year. In the final set he led 2-0 and had two break points for a double break. When he handed back the break for 3-all, the Norwegian made two volleying errors.
In the final game a van de Zandschulp dead net cord off a Ruud second serve at deuce brought up match point. Ruud failed to put away a smash and then dumped a high routine forehand volley into the net – perhaps a sign of his low confidence – to seal his own fate.
Van de Zandschulp fired 12 aces and saved three of six break points faced. The Dutchman is up one place to No. 31 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings. Van de Zandschulp improved to 3-1 in ATP Head2Head meetings with Ruud and next meets Finn Emil Ruusuvuori. The pair has split their two prior meetings.
Ruud will now head to his beloved clay in the hope that his favourite surface will turn around his 5-6 start to the year. The 24-year-old surged to the title match of the Nitto ATP Finals last year but currently finds himself 81st in the Pepperstone ATP Race To Turin.