Date: 3 April 2022
Tournament: Miami Open
Venue: Miami, Florida, USA
Category: ATP Masters 1000
Surface: Outdoor Hardcourt
Prize money: $8,584,055
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel & ESPN | UK - Amazon Prime Video | India - Voot
Casper Ruud vs Carlos Alcaraz preview
World No. 8 Casper Ruud and teenage prodigy Carlos Alcaraz will battle it out for the 2022 Miami Open title on Sunday.
Following an early exit from the Indian Wells Masters, Ruud has rebounded well by reaching the biggest final of his career in Miami. Six of his seven titles have come on clay, but the 23-year-old has started to prove his mettle on hardcourt as well. He won his first title on the surface in San Diego last year.
Ruud's path to the title round has been relatively straightforward. After a first-round bye, he defeated Henri Laaksonen and Alexander Bublik in straight sets. Cameron Norrie was his first top-20 opponent in the fourth round. He beat the Brit in straight sets as well.
Ruud faced his toughest challenge in the quarterfinals. Up against World No. 4 Alexander Zverev, he dropped his first set of the tournament, but got the better of the German in three sets. The Norwegian defeated surprise semifinalist Francisco Cerundolo 6-4, 6-1 to reach his first Masters 1000 final.
Carlos Alcaraz, meanwhile, has been in red-hot form. After a brilliant showing at the Indian Wells Masters, where he lost to Rafael Nadal in the semifinals, he has gone a step further and reached the final in Miami.
After an opening-round bye, the teenager started his Miami Open challenge by defeating Marton Fucsovics and 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic in straight sets in the initial rounds. He scored his second straight win over World No. 5 Stefanos Tsitsipas in the fourth round.
In what was possibly the match of the tournament, Alcaraz edged out Miomir Kecmanovic in a three-set thriller to make the last four. Defending champion Hubert Hurkacz put up a fight in the semifinals, but the Spaniard won in two tight sets to advance to the championship round.
Casper Ruud vs Carlos Alcaraz head-to-head
Alcaraz leads Ruud 1-0 in the head-to-head. He won their solitary encounter at the 2021 Andalucia Open in straight sets.
Casper Ruud vs Carlos Alcaraz odds
Alcaraz is the oddsmaker's favorite to win the title at -260.
When it comes to handicap bets, Alcaraz and Ruud's odds stand at -3.5 and +3.5 respectively. The over and under odds for more or less than 22.5 games is -105 and -125 respectively.
All odds are sourced from Caesars Sportsbook.
Casper Ruud vs Carlos Alcaraz prediction
Both players have displayed tremendous athletic ability and shotmaking skills to reach the final in Miami. Ruud has more experience between the two, but Alcaraz conducts himself with the maturity of a seasoned veteran.
The teenager is a huge threat from the back of the court. His supreme athletic ability results in excellent court coverage and he has the power to hit winners from anywhere on the court. Alcaraz knows when to switch up tactics as well. He can throw in the drop shot to catch opponents off guard.
Ruud has the edge when it comes to the serve. The World No. 8 has been serving quite well in this tournament so far, winning 85% of his first-serve points on average across his five matches. A similar serving performance in the final will give him the upper hand.
But the Norwegian cannot rely on only his serve and will need to ensure his ground game is functioning well to go toe-to-toe with the Spaniard.
When everything else fails, Alcaraz's fighting spirit has often pushed him across the finish line. It's set to be a fierce contest between the two young players, but the Spaniard should be able to fend off his opponent and win his maiden Masters 1000 crown.
Pick: Carlos Alcaraz to win in three sets.