Ruud shocks Rublev, sets up Medvedev showdown today
WTA Threatens To Cancel Chinese Tourneys Over Missing Star
In a winner-takes-all green group match, Casper Ruud delivered an absolute shocker at the Nitto ATP Finals, edging Andrey Rublev 2-6, 7-5, 7-6(5) in a high-quality, tense match to qualify for today’s semi-finals.
The 22-year-old bounced back from losing his opening round-robin match against Novak Djokovic by defeating Cameron Norrie to set up a crunch clash against Rublev, with the Russian also holding a 1-1 record after two matches.
With the pressure on, Ruud imposed his game on Rublev, hitting his powerful groundstrokes with precision and depth as he rallied from a break down in the second and third sets to secure victory in two hours and 24 minutes. He finished second in the green group behind Djokovic and will face Daniil Medvedev in the last four today, while Djokovic will play Alexander Zverev in a highly anticipated match that the world No 1 has promised to give his all.
In a related development, the women’s tennis’ governing body has threatened to take drastic action against China over the case of Peng Shuai who has been missing for some weeks.
In a stern ultimatum, the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) threatened to pull tournaments from China unless satisfactory evidence of her safety is issued soon.
The body said it has been unable to contact her for two weeks since she accused a politician with the ruling Communist party of sexual assault. Top players, including Novak Djokovic, have expressed fears for her safety because she has been unreachable since making allegations against China’s former vice-premier, Zhang Gaoli.
It was reported that Peng sent the WTA an email allaying any concerns about her wellbeing but was met with widespread scepticism with fellow players saying Peng did not write it. WTA boss, Steve Simon released a statement, saying he did not believe Peng sent that mail herself. He went on to issue an ultimatum to China, threatening to cancel tournaments scheduled to take place in the country if “verifiable proof” of Peng’s safety is not provided.