Berliner Tageblatt - Ruud rolls into Geneva final

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Ruud rolls into Geneva final
Ruud rolls into Geneva final / Photo: © AFP

Ruud rolls into Geneva final

Norway's Casper Ruud will face Novak Djokovic's conqueror Tomas Machac in the Geneva Open final later Saturday after seeing off a strong challenge from Flavio Cobolli in the semis.

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Second seed Ruud, the world number seven, is at home in the Swiss clay court tournament, having won the Geneva title in 2021 and 2022.

He beat Italy's in-form Cobolli 1-6, 6-1, 7-6 (7/4) in a roller coaster match on the Parc des Eaux-Vives clay.

The contest betwen two-time French Open runner-up Ruud and Cobolli, who is on a career-high ranking of 56, was meant to take place on Friday evening but was called off due to persistent rain.

"It was very, very difficult. I was one point away from losing," said Ruud.

"I just was able to hang in there and it was a really tough match. I was happy to be able to come back in the third set and pull through.

"It was a good confidence win for me.

"I'll just take a shower, rest, have some lunch and then start again," added the 25-year-old.

World number one Djokovic is the reigning French Open champion and the Serb admitted he was "worried" about his title defence after falling to 44th-ranked Czech Machac in the Geneva semi-finals on Friday.

Djokovic took a late wildcard to play in Geneva in a bid to reverse an alarming dip in form ahead of Roland-Garros, where he has won three times.

But the 24-time Grand Slam champion went down to a 6-4, 0-6, 6-1 loss to Machac, competing in his maiden tour-level semi-final.

The last Czech to reach the Geneva final was Tomas Smid in 1987.

The 28-man Geneva tournament serves as a warm-up before the French Open, the second of the year's four Grand Slams, which begins on Sunday.