Ruud and Tsitsipas reach Barcelona semis, one step away from another title clash

The seventh-ranked Tsitsipas easily defeated Ruud to claim his third title at Monte Carlo last weekend.
(L-R) Stefanos Tsitsipas and Casper Ruud
(L-R) Stefanos Tsitsipas and Casper Ruud(Photo | AFP)

BARCELONA, Spain: Casper Ruud and Stefanos Tsitsipas won to advance to the Barcelona Open semifinals on Friday, keeping them on course to meet in a second straight final.

Ruud beat Matteo Arnaldi 6-4, 6-3 to notch his season-leading 27th win. The sixth-ranked Norwegian has two more wins than Jannik Sinner.

Tsitsipas saved two match points to rally past Facundo Díaz 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (8).

Tsitispas struggled with his serve and double-faulted seven times. One of them cost him a break while the Greek player was trying to serve out the match up 5-4 in the third set. He then had to save a match point while serving again before facing the brink again in the tiebreaker.

“I feel like having so many matches under my belt and faced situations like this helps for sure,” Tsitsipas said. “I knew anything was possible at any given time."

The seventh-ranked Tsitsipas easily defeated Ruud to claim his third title at Monte Carlo last weekend.

Ruud is trying to reach his fourth final this year. Besides the loss in Monte Carlo, he also lost finals in Los Cabos and Acapulco.

Ruud will face Tomas Martin Etcheverry on Saturday after the Argentine defeated Cameron Norrie 7-6 (4), 7-6 (1).

Ruud got the better of Martin Etcheverry in their only previous meeting last year, when he had to rally from a set down in Beijing.

“It is going to be another difficult match,” Ruud said.

Next up for Tsitsipas is Dusan Lajovic after he beat 19-year-old Arthur Fils 6-4, 3-6, 6-2.

Top-seeded Carlos Alcaraz withdrew from the tournament before it started because of an injury, while second-seeded Andrey Rublev lost in the second round.

Rafael Nadal, a 12-time champion in Barcelona, made his return to the courts for the first time since January on Tuesday, only to lose the next day.

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