A tough win for Ruud and an upset loss for Rublev at the Hamburg European Open
HAMBURG, Germany (AP) — Casper Ruud fought back after being "destroyed" in the first set to beat Cristian Garin at the clay-court Hamburg European Open on Thursday, while Daniel Altmaier upset Andrey Rublev in the second round.
In the Hamburg women's competition, up-and-coming German player Noma Noha Akugue reached the semifinals in her first WTA Tour event.
French Open runner-up Ruud came back to win 1-6, 6-2, 6-2 for a place in the quarterfinals in a match that proved far more difficult than the world rankings would suggest.
Ruud is ranked fourth and Garin 120th, but the Chilean qualifier won five career titles on clay before recent struggles with form and injury, and had won three of his four previous matches against Ruud. The first set was all Garin, who broke Ruud in the opening game, but a break of serve for Ruud at 2-2 in the second allowed the Norwegian a path back into the match.
"I was destroyed in the first set, didn’t really have anything to challenge his game,” Ruud said. “I’m very happy that I stuck (with it) and fought all the way to the end.”
Ruud's quarterfinal opponent is 19-year-old French player Arthur Fils.
Second-seeded Rublev was upset 6-2, 6-2 by Altmaier in a match lasting just 75 minutes. Altmaier will face Zhang Zhicheng for a place in the semifinals.
Last year's Hamburg winner Lorenzo Musetti completed a 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 win over Jozef Kovalik in a match that had been suspended Wednesday part-way through the second set.
The 19-year-old Noha Akugue is making a big impression in her first WTA Tour main draw after getting a wild card. Noha Akugue, who was born in the Hamburg suburbs, was in tears after she booked her place in the semifinals with a 5-7, 6-4, 7-5 win over Martina Trevisan.
Noha Akugue faces another 19-year-old player, Diana Shnaider, in the semifinals after Shnaider upset defending champion Bernarda Pera 6-1, 2-6, 6-4.
Daria Saville reached her first tour semifinal after a lengthy spell on the sidelines with a knee injury as she won 6-3, 6-2 against Jule Niemeier. The Australian next plays the highest-ranked player left in the draw, seventh-seeded Arantxa Rus, who beat Eva Lys 6-2, 6-2.
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