Andrey Rublev is playing like a top-five player right now and he finally got his second ATP tour victory of 2023 on Sunday by defeating Casper Ruud in the final of the Nordea Open in Båstad, Sweden. Rublev made it to the final of the Halle Open in a run-up to Wimbledon but lost, and then got bounced in the quarters of Wimbledon by Novak Djokovic. No shame in that.
The most impressive part about what Rublev did in the final was that he beat Ruud so easily, and Ruud has been played extremely well over about a year. Plus, Ruud was the better player on clay coming into the tournament. It didn’t seem that way on Sunday, however.
Rublev played pristine tennis. He had 6 aces and no double faults and won 39 of his 49 first serve points. He only had 11 second serves because he was placing the ball seemingly wherever he wanted. But he also broke Ruud five times.
Andrey Rublev dominates Casper Ruud in Nordea Open finals
The first set ended up being tighter than it should have as well as Rublev was serving. Ruud appeared to be barely hanging on but lost the set in a tiebreak. The second set was a whitewash as Ruud lost 0-6 and it was pure domination by the Russian. The two players are also very familiar with one another as this was their sixth head-to-head. To have Ruud know what to expect and still get beaten as badly as he did proves how good Ruud was.
Ruud had also not dropped a set in the tournament coming into the final. As well as Ruud has played on clay since last year’s French Open, it seemed as if he would take the Nordea Open title. But Rublev had other ideas and dominated the match.
As Rublev said in his post-match on-court interview, he was hitting the ball so well that “sometimes (he) would close his eyes and the ball would still land in.” We should have a match like that in our lives.