Fixture: Casper Ruud (1) vs Pedro Martinez
Date: 31 July 2021
Tournament: ATP Generali Open 2021
Venue: Kitzbuhel, Austria
Category: ATP 250
Surface: Red clay
Prize money: €419,470
Match timing: Not before 4.30 pm local time, 2.30 pm GST, 10.30 am EST, 8 pm IST
Casper Ruud vs Pedro Martinez preview
Casper Ruud will try to win his third tournament in as many weeks when he takes on Spain's Pedro Martinez in the final of the 2021 Generali Open on Saturday.
Ruud is in the form of his life at the moment. The Norwegian has a win-loss record 31-9 in 2021, having won three titles so far - in Geneva, Bastad and Gstaad. The last two of those came in the two consecutive weeks immediately preceding the current week.
Currently at a career-high ranking of World No. 14, Ruud has registered a couple of impressive wins in Kitzbuhel despite dealing with physical issues. The 22-year-old got past Mario Villela Martinez and Mikael Ymer in three testing sets, before downing Arthur Rinderknech 6-3, 7-6(7) in the semifinal.
Pedro Martinez, on the other hand, has had an up-and-down 2021 season. The Spaniard had a win-loss record of 8-12 coming into Kitzbuhel, without a a single appearance past the third round at any tour level event.
Casper Ruud vs Pedro Martinez head-to-head
The final in Kitzbuhel is the first professional match between Casper Ruud and Pedro Martinez, so their head-to-head currently stands at 0-0.
Casper Ruud vs Pedro Martinez prediction
As the top seed and the player in red-hot form, Casper Ruud comes into yet another claycourt final as the overwhelming favorite.
The Norwegian is undoubtedly an expert on the surface, with a career win-loss record of 70-30. Ruud's aggressive playing style is aided by his powerful and heavy forehand, on which he applies copious amounts of topspin.
The 22-year-old also regularly puts up solid numbers on serve, while constantly improving the consistency of his return.
There are, however, question marks around Ruud's fitness. The Norwegian has appeared to be struggling in Kitzbuhel at times, especially during long rallies. And Pedro Martinez will look to take full advantage of that.
Martinez's movement and defensive skills work well on slower surfaces, as evidenced by his solid claycourt record. But if Ruud's physical issues are not a factor, it is difficult to imagine Martinez breaking down his game.
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Prediction: Casper Ruud to win in straight sets.