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Ruud defeats Shelton to reach Barcelona Open quarterfinals


Norway’s tennis player Casper Ruud returns the ball to US’ tennis player Ben Shelton during the ATP Barcelona Open “Conde de Godo” tennis tournament singles match at the Real Club de Tenis in Barcelona on April 18, 2023. (Photo by Josep LAGO / AFP) (Photo by JOSEP LAGO/AFP via Getty Images)

AFP via Getty Images

BARCELONA, Spain -- Casper Ruud reached the quarterfinals of the Barcelona Open for a second straight year by beating Ben Shelton 6-2, 7-6 (1).

The third-seeded Norwegian lost to Shelton last year in Cincinnati, where the American was a relatively unknown college player ranked 229th in the world.

“I wanted my revenge,” Ruud said. “Different surface, different continent, different tournament . . . I felt like I had a little bit more time here to build the points on clay, which is normal.”

Shelton, who had his breakout tournament in Cincinnati, made his first appearances in clay-court tournaments this season. He was eliminated in the first round in Monte Carlo and in the second round in Estoril.

Ruud won his first title of the year in Estoril this month. He will next face 15th-seeded Francisco Cerúndolo or Francesco Passaro, who defeated Fernando Verdasco 6-1, 6-1.

Also, Diego Schwartzman defeated Wu Yibing 6-2, 6-2 to set up second-round matchup against fourth-seeded Jannik Sinner.

David Goffin beat Feliciano Lopez 7-6 (3), 6-7 (4), 6-0, while Alejandro Davidovich Fokina defeated Tomas Martin Etcheverry 6-3, 6-3.

Defending champion Carlos Alcaraz later faced No. 79-ranked Nuno Borges of Portugal.