Paris, Jun 6 (IANS): World No.4 Casper Ruud quelled a strong challenge from Nicolas Jarry of Chile and came up with a clinical display to advance to the men's singles quarterfinal at the French Open here on Monday.
Ruud was repeatedly placed under pressure by Jarry in their fourth-round clash before battling to a 7-6(3), 7-5, 7-5 victory. Ruud saved 14 of 17 break points across three tightly-contested sets to reach his third major quarterfinal.
The 24-year-old Norwegian prevailed in a first-set tie-break, rallied from 1-4 to claim the second set and then 2-4 to clinch the third and seal a three-hour, 20-minute victory.
Ruud came up with a rock-solid display from the baseline in blustery conditions which proved decisive against the aggressive Jarry, who hit 56 winners to Ruud's 30 in an engrossing clash. Yet the Chilean was unable to match his opponent's consistency at key moments.
Ruud, who reached the championship match at Roland Garros last year, has now won a Tour-leading 85 matches on clay since 2020. The 24-year-old will take on Holger Rune who defeated Francisco Cerundolo in five sets in the last eight as he continues his bid for a maiden Grand Slam crown.
This was a revenge of sorts for Ruud as Jarry had narrowly defeated him in a three-set quarterfinal in Geneva just 11 days ago. On Monday, once again there was little to choose between the two players for most of the encounter. Jarry's booming serve and powerful groundstrokes ensured he was competitive throughout but Ruud's high-class defensive skills frequently made the difference in longer exchanges.
Ruud was a point away from falling to a double-break deficit in the second set, but he saved a break point at 1-4, 30/40 to hold. That was typical of the World No. 4's display, as he raised his level to great effect to keep Jarry in his sights.
After completing his second-set comeback, Ruud repeated the feat in the third to frustrate Jarry. He won five of the final six games to clinch victory and improve his ATP head-to-head series record against the Chilean to 2-1.
In another pre-quarterfinal clash, Denmark's sixth seed Holgar Rune overcame No.23 seed Francisco Cerundolo of Argentina 7-6(3), 3-6, 6-4, 1-6, 7-6(7).
Ruud and Rune joined World No.1 Carlos Alcaraz, two-time champion Novak Djokovic, Stefanos Tsitsipas, and Karen Khachanov in the quarterfinals with two more players yet to make the grade.