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United Cup: Casper Ruud levels Norway-Netherlands after win against Tallon Griekspoor

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United Cup: Casper Ruud levels Norway-Netherlands after win against Tallon Griekspoor

Sydney, Dec 30 (Ajit Weekly News) Norwegian Casper Ruud made a quick start to his 2024 season on Saturday at the United Cup with a 6-3, 6-4 win against Dutchman Tallon Griekspoor, forcing a deciding mixed doubles match in Sydney’s opening tie.

Ruud, the No. 11 player in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings and highest-ranked player in Group F, converted three of his seven break points to clinch victory after one hour and 12 minutes.

This was the pair’s second Lexus ATP Head-to-Head clash after Ruud triumphed at Acapulco in 2021 in a final-set tie-break. Griekspoor had won their two matches below tour-level (in 2015 and 2019, respectively).

The Dutchman enjoyed his best season in 2023, reaching a career-high World No. 21 in November. He qualified the Netherlands for the United Cup for the first time, but was only able to win 62 per cent of his service points against Ruud.

In the first match of the tie, Arantxa Rus got the Netherlands off to a winning start with a 7-6(4), 6-1 win over Malene Helgø to give her team a 1-0 lead in the first Group F tie of the United Cup.

Despite 478 places between the two in the WTA rankings, 24-year-old Helgø, who made her Hologic WTA Tour debut in this competition 12 months ago, pushed her higher-ranked opponent hard in a first set that lasted more than an hour.

World No.51 Rus led 4-2 in the first, but lost the next three games, and twice served to stay in the first set. Both times, she rose to the challenge: Down 5-4, she held at love, and and down 6-5, she held to 15. She opened the ensuing tiebreak by winning four straight points — and though Helgo got to within one at 4-3 and 5-4 — Rus wrapped up a one-set lead on her first set point.

Set two was all Rus, who, after saving a break point at 1-1, broke Helgø after the Norwegian had three opportunities to hold for 2-2 and hardly looked back. The last game got complicated, though, as Rus needed a total of five match points to seal the opening win.


News Credits – I A N S

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