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Ruud stunned by qualifier Arnaldi in Madrid Open second round

Tennis: Miami Open

Mar 26, 2023; Miami, Florida, US; Casper Ruud (NOR) reacts after losing a point against Botic van de Zandschulp (NED) (not pictured) on day seven of the Miami Open at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

MADRID - Fourth-ranked Casper Ruud was upset by Italian qualifier Matteo Arnaldi in the second round of the Madrid Open.

The 105th-ranked Arnaldi beat Ruud 6-3, 6-4 for the 22-year-old’s first win over a top-10 player. After sealing the surprising victory, Arnaldi raised his arms and thumped his chest, smiling broadly.

“Today, I don’t know, maybe the stadium, maybe the pressure on him, but I played the best match of my life,” said Arnaldi, who landed 35 winners and broke Ruud’s serve three times.

Ruud, 24, reached the final of both the French Open and U.S. Open last year. But despite winning the Estoril Open in Portugal earlier this month, the Norwegian player has struggled at bigger events in 2023, including a second-round exit at the Australian Open in January.

Defending champion Carlos Alcaraz plays the 41st-ranked Emil Ruusuvuori later, while women’s No. 1 Iga Swiatek faces Julia Grabher.