Casper Ruud continued his impressive form on clay with a hard-fought victory over Botic van de Zandschulp in his opening match at the Monte Carlo Masters. The fourth-seeded Norwegian, who has won his last two clay events, had to battle to secure a 7-5, 7-6 (1) win on the slow surface. Despite facing a set point in the second set, Ruud managed to hold his nerve and secure his spot in the third round.
Ruud will now face Jan-Lennard Struff, who caused an upset by defeating 14th-seeded Alex de Minaur in straight sets. The German was in impressive form as he won 6-3, 6-2 to book his place in the third round. With both Ruud and Struff in good form, their upcoming clash promises to be a thrilling encounter.
Reflecting on his victory, Ruud acknowledged that it is never easy to start at a new tournament, especially against an opponent who has beaten you before. However, he was pleased to have been able to put his recent defeat to van de Zandschulp behind him and exact revenge with his latest win.