Another unseeded American has eliminated a No. 1 seed in the men’s singles tournament at the Australian Open. On Thursday, in Rod Laver Arena, Jenson Brooksby upset No. 2 seed Casper Ruud. On Wednesday, Mackenzie McDonald stunned No. 1 Rafael Nadal.
With Ruud needing to save three match points and come back from 2-5 down in the third set, the Melbourne rookie cruised to a 6-3, 7-5, 6-7(4), 6-2 triumph.
In a three-hour and 55-minute encounter, Brooksby won his largest match of his career by aggravating the two-time major finalist with a constant diet of crosscourt backhands, forcing him to play from his weaker corner.
After the game, Ruud remarked, “First and foremost, Casper is a warrior.” I anticipated a fierce conflict out there. My self-assurance about my skill level was high, and all I wanted was to enjoy myself while competing.
After a tough battle in the third set didn’t go my way, “I was extremely proud of my mental fortitude there to just turn it around.”
In rallies of nine balls or more, the 22-year-old American was unbeatable.
He won 50 of 68 points. On a total of 25 service points, the men were evenly matched, with Brooksby having a 13-12 advantage in break point opportunities. However, nine of the American’s shots were successful, while only four of Ruud’s were.
The second set’s set point for Brooksby occurred when Ruud served at 5-6, 30/40, and it was the most important of those break points. A backhand from Brooksby brushed the net at the end of a tight 26-ball rally, and the ball slid over for a winner.
Following the conclusion of the second set, Ruud had a medical timeout. The No. 3 player in the world put in heroic effort to reach a fourth set, but was ultimately outplayed.
After losing the third set tie-break, Brooksby commented, “[I had to] to keep raising my level.” “I felt like I was playing well, and I was determined to keep my mind on the game at all times.”
Losing this match prevents Ruud from leaving Melbourne atop the Pepperstone ATP Rankings, an accomplishment he might have accomplished. If Novak Djokovic or Stefanos Tsitsipas win the Australian Open, they will replace Carlos Alcaraz atop the rankings.
Tommy Paul, a fellow countryman of Brooksby’s, advanced to the third round by defeating Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, the 30th seed, 6-2, 2-6, 7-6, 6-7(4), 6-3, 6-4. For sure, that’s going to be another fight,” Brooksby said of the showdown.
Many Americans are succeeding at the moment, and we’re all helping one another along. I can’t wait for the next one.
In their only previous meeting last season, Paul won in Cincinnati by scores of 6-3, 6-2.