Ruud Recovers To Advance In Hamburg, Altmaier Upsets Rublev
The top seed, who reached the semi-finals at the ATP 500 clay-court event in his previous appearance in 2020, played with greater intensity and consistency as the one-hour, 41-minute clash progressed. Ruud gained a crucial break at 2-2 in the second set and then saved all five break points he faced across the second and third sets to reach the quarter-finals.
“Cristian played much better than me at the beginning,” Ruud said. “He broke me right away and was returning from all corners. I had no answers, but just tried to stay in there in the second set and told myself to keep going, maybe I will get a chance. At 2-2 I was able to break him on my first break point and things started to change. A couple of points can decide a match. Even though the result in the end seemed kind of clear, it is always tough against Cristian.”
With his 22nd clay-court tour-level win of the season, Ruud improved to 2-3 in his Lexus ATP Head2Head series against Garin, who had won their previous two clay-court matches. Only Carlos Alcaraz (25), has most tour-level victories on clay in 2023.
The 24-year-old Ruud is chasing his second tour-level trophy of the season, having lifted his 10th ATP Tour crown in Estoril in April. He will continue his quest against #NextGenATP Frenchman Arthur Fils.
The home favourite Altmaier was backed by vocal support in Hamburg and came out firing against the second seed. The 24-year-old opened his shoulders to hammer an array of winners past Rublev, ending the Bastad champion’s five-match winning streak after 75 minutes.
Altmaier will next face Zhang Zhizhen after the Chinese star beat Yannick Hanfmann 4-6, 6-1, 6-4. Altmaier, who had never advanced beyond the first round in four previous appearances at the ATP 500 prior to this week, enjoyed a run to the quarter-finals on clay in Madrid earlier this season.