Qualifier Struff beats Ruud, reaches Monte Carlo quarters


MONACO (AP) – Jan-Lennard Struff reached the quarterfinals of the Monte Carlo Masters on Thursday with a 6-1, 7-6 (6) win over fourth-seeded Casper Ruud as the German qualifier took another step in his comeback from an injury.

Having been ranked 29th, Struff dropped as low as as No. 168 after sustaining a foot fracture last year during a match in Miami, an injury that left him sidelined for more than two months.

Struff has enjoyed a good start to the season and returned to the Top 100 last month but had not beaten anyone in the Top 10 this year before taking on Ruud at the Country Club.

His aggressive style of play resulted in 37 winners and 23 points won at the net against Ruud, who dropped his serve four times.

Struff ended Ruud’s nine-match winning streak on clay. The 2022 French Open runner-up had won his past two tournaments on the surface, in Gstaad last July and in Estoril last week. Struff will next be up against Andrey Rublev or Karen Khachanov.

Sixth-seeded Holger Rune advanced to the quarterfinals without playing when Matteo Berrettini withdrew due to an injury.

Top-ranked Novak Djokovic later takes on Lorenzo Musetti while third-seeded Daniil Medvedev plays 13th-seeded Alexander Zverev.

Rafael Nadal and second-ranked Carlos Alcaraz pulled out of the tournament last week. Nadal has won it a record 11 times, including an Open Era record streak of eight consecutive titles from 2005-12. But the 22-time Grand Slam champion has been sidelined with a left hip flexor injury since the Australian Open.

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More AP tennis: https://apnews.com/hub/tennis and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports


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