Casper Ruud overcame ‘brutal’ conditions to book his place in a first ATP Masters 1000 final with victory over Francisco Cerundolo at the Miami Open.
The Norwegian is rising sharply up the ranks, and after three defeats at the semi-final stage of Masters 1000 events - he eased to a 6-4 6-1 win over Cerundolo.
Ruud made his name on clay courts, but at the fourth time of asking he advance to a Masters 1000 final on the hard courts in Florida - and became the first Norwegian to do so.
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“It was not where I imagine myself playing my first Masters 1000 final [on a hard court], but I will take it,” Ruud said. “It is a great feeling and I am enjoying the city and the tournament.”
Reflecting on the conditions, Ruud said: “It was pretty brutal today. Very humid, which made the breathing a little tough.”
The world No. 8 is one win away from his eighth ATP Tour title - and he is happy with his form.
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“It is a great feeling. I am standing here smiling,” Ruud said. “I have had three tough losses in my previous Masters  semi-finals and I thought today was a good chance to reach my first final.
"I started a little shaky but I was able to pull through and raise my level when I really needed to.”
Ruud will face the winner of the second semi-final between Hubert Hurkacz and Carlos Alcaraz.
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