Although Casper Ruud fell to Novak Djokovic in straight sets 7-6 (4), 6-2, in his opening round, there’s no question that the Norwegian impressed in the early stages before eventually succumbing to the world No. 1’s suffocating all-court prowess. In 2021, Ruud proved that no matter the surface, he is an extremely dangerous player.

Ruud will now take on Stefanos Tsitsipas on Wednesday as both players fight to keep their ATP Finals hopes alive. The Greek fell to Andrey Rublev 6-4, 6-4, in his opener, and appeared to still be feeling the effects of the elbow injury that forced him to withdraw from Paris.

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Unless the Greek is able to drastically improve his level, there's no reason Ruud can't win this match.

Unless the Greek is able to drastically improve his level, there's no reason Ruud can't win this match. 

According to the oddsmakers, Tsitsipas is listed as a -161 favorite and projected to win by two total games. The Greek won handily in their only career hardcourt meeting this summer in Toronto, but is nowhere near that level at the moment.

In addition to his injury, Tsitsipas is also struggling to defend his backhand wing. Due to a myriad of reasons, his backhand slice is floating, which gave Rublev time to run around and find forehands, and there’s no reason to think Ruud won’t be able to do the same.

If Ruud is able to hit his flat-wide serve from the ad side, and T-serve from the deuce side, he should see plenty of forehands throughout the match. Given Tsitsipas’s health concerns, Ruud has a very good chance of knocking out the 2019 Champion.

The Pick: Casper Ruud +135