Fixture: Casper Ruud (1) vs Arthur Rinderknech (ALT)
Date: 30 July 2021
Tournament: ATP Generali Open 2021
Venue: Kitzbuhel, Austria
Category: ATP 250
Surface: Red clay
Prize money: €419,470
Match timing: Not before 4 pm local time, 2 pm GST, 10 am EST, 7.30 pm IST
Casper Ruud vs Arthur Rinderknech preview
Top seed Casper Ruud will face unseeded Arthur Rinderknech in the semifinals of the the 2021 Generali Open on Friday.
Ruud, ranked No. 14 in the world, found himself in a hole during the early stages of his quarterfinal match against Sweden's Mikael Ymer on Thursday. Ymer drew first blood by taking the opening set 6-3, and even held a match point while serving for the match at 5-4 in the second set.
But the Norwegian was able to dig deep and turn things around, eventually registering a 3-6, 7-6 (5), 6-1 victory. That has also extended Ruud's winning streak to 10 matches.
The 22-year-old is going for a third consecutive ATP title in Kitzbuhel, having already won the ATP 250 events in Bastad and Gstaad over the last two weeks.
Arthur Rinderknech, meanwhile, was not even on the official entry list for the 2021 Generali Open but managed to get in as an Alternate. Rinderknech has made the most of that opportunity, beating some talented players like Federico Delbonis, Holger Rune and Filip Krajinovic en route to the last four.
Casper Ruud vs Arthur Rinderknech head-to-head
This will be the first-ever career meeting between Casper Ruud and Arthur Rinderknech, so the head-to-head currently stands at 0-0.
Casper Ruud vs Arthur Rinderknech prediction
Casper Ruud has been terrific on clay in the 2021 season, to say the least. The Norwegian reached the semifinals at the ATP Masters 1000 events in Monte Carlo and Madrid before his current run in Bastad, Gstaad and Kitzbuhel.
Ruud plays a topspin-oriented game from behind the baseline, using his speedy footwork and raw power to great effect. His forehand is arguably the heaviest on tour right now; the shot regularly puts his opponents on the backfoot with its pace and depth.
Arthur Rinderknech, on the other hand, has a very different playing style compared to Ruud. Rinderknech uses his long levers to strike big and flat groundstrokes off both wings, and he also likes to take the early initiative with his strong serve.
That said, the Frenchman is not as adept as Ruud at controlling the tempo of the rallies. Rinderknech will likely struggle if he is forced into a lot of long exchanges by Ruud during their last-four encounter on Friday.
Prediction: Casper Ruud to win in straight sets.