Casper Ruud: No. 2 seed knocked out of Australian Open by American Jenson Brooksby
Australian Open No. 2 seed Casper Ruud was knocked out of the Grand Slam by American Jenson Brooksby on Thursday, beaten 6-3 7-5 6-7 (4-7) 6-2 in the second round.
Ruud, who reached the French Open and US Open final in 2022, saved three match points and came from 2-5 down in the third set to take the match to a fourth, but Brooksy, 22 years old, wasn’t t be denied.
The American’s win means both top seeds in the men’s draw were eliminated following Rafael Nadal’s loss to Mackenzie McDonald on Wednesday.
The departure of the two seeds before the third round is the first Grand Slam men’s singles event since the 2002 Australian Open when No. 1 seed Lleyton Hewitt and No. 2 seed Gustavo Kuerten lost in the first round according to the International Tennis Federation.
“Casper is a warrior, I knew it would be a great battle,” Brooksby told reporters afterward. “I was quite confident with my level and just wanted to have fun competing and see what could happen.
“I was just really proud of my mental resolve there after the third set battle didn’t go my way, just to turn things around,” Brooksby added. “I thought I was playing really hard and I just wanted every game [to] not losing my focus there.
Brooksby looked confident from the opener as the world No. 39 beat Ruud midway through the first set after a long 30-stroke rally that saw the American take an early lead.
The hard-hitting American kept Ruud on the back foot, although he won the second set with a slice of luck as his backhand hit the net and sped away.
Ruud fought back to win the third set, although his frustration lingered and at one point he was heard shouting “Why?” to himself.
Ruud lost the fourth set when a return landed long, giving Brooksby only his second victory over one of the five seeds, having beaten Stefanos Tsitsipas in the past.
The 22-year-old from California dominated the longest rallies against Ruud, winning 50 of 68 points that went on nine shots. He also managed to save eight of the 12 break points he faced against the Norwegian.
Afterwards, Ruud praised Brooksby, while saying the match was “frustrating and boring at the same time”.
“It’s a tough game for me, and I know it will probably be for many years to come. I’ll try to learn from it. I think he played very well today,” Ruud told reporters. journalists.
“I mean, I didn’t make a lot of mistakes at all. I didn’t feel like I played particularly badly or not at the level I wanted to play, but he just ended up winning a lot of longer rallies and had some sort of answer to all the questions I put to him asked,” added Ruud.
Brooksby will face fellow American Tommy Paul in the next round.
“It’s going to be another battle for sure,” Brooksby said. “A lot of Americans are doing really well right now and we’re all pushing each other. I’m just looking forward to the next one.”