Casper Ruud has started 2023 from where he left off in 2022, beating Brazil’s Thiago Monteiro 6-3, 6-2 in the first men’s singles match of the New Year to boost Norway at the United Cup mixed teams championship in Brisbane on Sunday.
Ruud’s win, however, only delayed Norway’s eventual defeat in Group E. Laura Pigossi beat Ulrikke Eikeri 6-3, 6-4 later to give Brazil a winning 3-1 lead. Ruud had a successful 2022, rising as high as No. 2 in world rankings before ending the year at No. 3 after reaching the championship match at the ATP finals.
On Sunday, Ruud had only a few anxious moments before taking out a mustwin match. Norway was 2-0 down when he took the court against Montiero. He left the court victorious 72 minutes later, improving his record against Montiero to 3-0.
After a comfortable win the in the first set, Ruud went 0-2 down in the second before sweeping six straight games to clinch his win. “It was a must-win so I was maybe feeling the pressure a little bit,” Ruud said.
“Starting the New Year in tennis down in Australia feels great.
Former Wimbledon champion and Australian Open finalist Petra Kvitova beat Laura Siegemund 6-4, 6-2 to give the Czech Republic an unassailable 3-0 lead over Germany in a Group C match.