Fixture: Casper Ruud vs (8) Matteo Berrettini
Date: 8 May 2021
Tournament: Mutua Madrid Open 2021
Venue: Madrid, Spain
Category: ATP Masters 1000
Surface: Red clay
Prize money: €2,614,465
Match timing: Not before 9 pm local time, 12.30 am IST
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel | UK - Amazon Prime Video
Casper Ruud vs Matteo Berretini preview
Casper Ruud will take on Italy's Matteo Berrettini in the semifinals of the 2021 Madrid Open on Saturday.
Although the early part of his season was hampered by injury, Ruud has been outstanding on clay so far. The Norwegian has reached his third consecutive Masters 1000 semifinal in Madrid, as well as his third consecutive claycourt semifinal of 2021 - he reached this stage in both Monte Carlo and Munich.
Ruud has already recorded wins over the likes of Diego Schwartzman, Pablo Carreno Busta, Fabio Fognini and Stefanos Tsitsipas on the dirt this year. But next up for the 22-year-old is another formidable opponent - a man riding a seven-match winning streak.
Matteo Berrettini has played himself into fitness and form after an indifferent spell late last year. Although Berrettini lost in the first round at Monte Carlo, he went on to capture the fourth title of his career at the ATP 250 event in Belgrade last month.
The 25-year-old continued his hot streak after arriving in Madrid, beating Fabio Fognini and Fedrico Delbonis in straight sets to reach the quarterfinals. He was challenged by Cristian Garin on Friday, but ended up winning 5-7, 6-3, 6-0 to reach the semifinals.
Casper Ruud vs Matteo Berrettini head-to-head
The upcoming encounter in Madrid is the fourth match between the two players, and Casper Ruud currently leads the head-to-head 2-1 over Matteo Berrettini.
The Norwegian has defeated Berrettini in both of their meetings on clay so far - at the 2020 Rome Masters and the 2019 French Open. The Italian did, however, get the better of Ruud in the third round of the 2020 US Open.
Casper Ruud vs Matteo Berrettini prediction
Matteo Berrettini may be the higher-ranked player out of the two, but Casper Ruud's form on the surface makes him the favorite for their semifinal encounter.
Ruud has amassed a 26-6 claycourt record since the resumption of the tour. His massive forehand and quick footwork help him assume the role of the aggressor in almost every match he plays.
Ruud's numbers on serve have been outstanding this week. The Norwegian hasn't been broken a single time so far, and in fact has faced just one break point in total.
Berrettini, on his part, will look to use his powerful serve and heavy forehand to stay toe-to-toe with Ruud. The two players' strong serving may lead to a few closely fought tiebreakers too.
That said, Ruud's superior movement and history on clay, coupled with his comfort level in these conditions, give him a slight edge.
Prediction: Casper Ruud to win in three sets.