Pedro Martinez failed to emerge victorious in his first ATP-level final. Alzira’s tennis player was faced with a wall too high to climb, a player who is earning the status of a tough nut to crack on the circuit. Regularity, consistency, the capacity for suffering and a devilish right wing with a brutal weight: plenty of arguments that Casper ruud sample to access the elite. Today tipped the end of Kitzbühel in his favor again6-1, 4-6, 6-3) in which is your third consecutive title, the fourth of the season and a new show of strength on his favorite surface, the clay.
On one side of the ring we found Casper Ruud, with an excessive favoritism but several factors playing against him. The first and foremost was all the fatigue accumulated throughout the week: it is very possible that a Mikael Ymer completely focused on the mental plane would have eliminated him in the quarter-finals. However, the Norwegian came out showing a very solid version, especially using the weight of his ball to catch his rival by surprise.
And it is that Pedro Martínez did not expect, at all, the ball speed that the Norwegian would show from the start. The Spanish tennis player played stripped of any kind of pressure, entering the court in his first ATP final with the tag of great surprise of the tournament. The Cinderella story, however, was being totally blocked by the proactive attitude of a Ruud who inflated pressure at every point from the first hit.
Pedro settled in from the baseline and allowed Ruud to dominate each point at will. In addition, the little income that he got from his first services did not even make him look for something different in his games on serve: from his first continuation blow he was in a defensive position against the deep remains of the Norwegian. Thus, several breaks were enough to sign an immaculate set, with a Martinez still looking for his place in the final. 6-1 and it seemed like everything was under control.
Here we must point out a turning point of the party. Beyond a resumption a couple of hours later in which just three games were played, the rain made an appearance and sent the players to the changing rooms … for practically the entire afternoon. Time to think and readjust tactics for Pedro, who at around 10:00 p.m. would return to the ring with the intention of making things a little more difficult for his rival. Wow, I would.
Pedro understood that there was no use entering to rally from the back of the court against Casper: he had to bring a bit of variety to the duel, look for the net more assiduously, throw the cut on some occasions and be more proactive using parallel blows. On the closed night of Kitzbühel, the Spanish tennis player found some comfort in his service games, making the points somewhat shorter and moving Ruud somewhat more.
That would give him a huge surprise. At 4-5 in the second set, the 10th game of the set was a real horror on Casper’s part. All unforced errors that would make him give up his blank serve and, practically from nowhere, ensure a third set that put equality in a final that began as a real bathroom. Very lively and showing a better gestural language, Martínez thus gave himself a small tribute, a satisfaction in the form of a set won.
Ruud could feel that he had let his guard down in the second set, that he had been confident and had played following the winning momentum, staying behind the baseline and allowing Pedro to take control of the duel. That trend was going to change very, very soon. The Norwegian was going to activate the machinery and re-launch the inverted right as usual, like a pylon hammer, the same one with which Bastad and Gstaad had dominated.
The first break served to take a slight advantage; the second seemed absolutely devastating. Thor’s hammer had returned in forehand form, and Pedro wasn’t getting enough of a service advantage to counter its power often. Thus, with the 5-2 Ruud was preparing to close the match and the threepeat … but there the bravest Pedro re-emerged, the man who played without ties, the man who relaxed knowing of the wonderful opportunity he had for in front of.
Thus, the last service to the emotion of the match was a break that set the Kitzbühel crowd on their feet, which came to cheer them on during several stages of the match. Of course: the aggressiveness to the rest of Casper reappeared to close the game with a 6-1, 4-6 and 6-3 that allows him to triumph by third week in a row.
A impressive feat despite the entity of the tournaments in which it has taken place, as it shows an enviable regularity and consistency in a young player. We already know that Ruud is probably top-5 on the surface; now it’s your turn to make the corresponding leap in quality on hard courts. Meanwhile, to applaud and praise the week of Pedro Martinez, which continues taking giant steps and demonstrating that the second line of the Spanish Navy has a colossal level. If it continues like this, many more will arrive, there is no doubt.