In a battle between two past champions at the ATP 250 clay court in Switzerland, Ruud was dominant throughout. The Norwegian broke the serve of 2019 champion Ramos-Vinolas five times and did not face a single break point on his own serve as he cruised to victory in 62 minutes.
“I played really well from start to finish,” Ruud said after the match. “I got off to a perfect start to go 3-0 up. He is always a tough player to play against. He’s left-handed, which sometimes complicates things a bit.
“He’s a great tackler, a great runner and makes a lot of balls. He made a few extra unforced errors today, but I was also pushing him the whole time, playing hard and very smart and aggressive, so I think I was doing the right thing the whole time.”
Ruud takes the second seed Matteo Berrettini in Sunday’s championship match after beating the Italian earlier Dominic Thiem 6-1, 6-4. Both Ruud and Berrettini are aiming for their third title in 2022 and a second crown in Gstaad, where both finalists are also unbeaten. Berrettini triumphed on his only previous appearance in the Swiss mountains in 2018, while Ruud beat Hugo Gaston lift the trophy in his first appearance at the event a year ago.
“It’s definitely going to be tough,” Ruud said after his semi-final victory. “I know Matteo well. We didn’t grow up together, but we’ve played together a few times over the years. He’s a super nice guy and he’s also on a good run at the Tour and also in Switzerland at the moment. We will both be looking for a second win here in Gstaad and it will be an interesting match.”
A lightning-quick start from Ruud on Saturday meant that his heavy hitting on the baseline produced a break on Ramos-Vinolas’ serve in the second game. This set the tone for the match as the Norwegian kept pouncing on any short balls thrown his way by the Spaniard with his huge forehand.
Another break of serve from Ramos-Vinolas sealed the opening set for the top player and he was just as clinical in the second set as the Spaniard continued to battle on his serve. Ruud wrapped up his win by winning 22/38 points on the return in an impressive all-round performance.
“I said yesterday that I had to bring my A-game if I wanted to have a chance and I did,” said Ruud. “I also knew he finished his game late yesterday and sometimes you have to use the little things to your advantage. I played aggressively and with good intensity and it worked well.”
After losing his first four tournament-level matches against Ramos-Vinolas, Saturday’s win improved Ruud’s ATP Head2Head Series record against the Spaniard to 3-4. The world No. 5 is chasing a fourth consecutive ATP Tour title in Sunday’s final in Switzerland, having also lifted the trophy in Geneva in 2021 and 2022, as well as in Gstaad last year.