BERN (AFP) - Top seed and defending champion Casper Ruud came from a set down to beat second seed Matteo Berrettini 4-6, 7-6 (7/4), 6-2 in a high quality final of the clay-court ATP event in Gstaad on Sunday.
It marked a ninth career title for Ruud - four of them coming in Switzerland - and his third of the year following successes in Geneva and Buenos Aires, also on clay.
“There is a big story here with Roger Federer, who is a reference for me and a lot of players in the world,” said Ruud after the match which stretched just over two and a half hours.
“Switzerland is a country with a lot of history now in tennis, winning a lot of Grand Slams with Roger and Stan (Wawrinka) the last 18 or 19 years.
The French Open finalist dropped the opener but battled back to take the Italian world number 15 to a tiebreak for the second set.
Ruud lost the opening point on serve but then found his forehand clicking into gear as he took the next five points, the first sign of Berrettini’s service wavering.
The world number five closed out the tiebreak 7-4 to level the match and take it into a decider.
The 23-year-old Norwegian then powered through the final set, breaking the 2018 champion twice to take the decider 6-2.
Berrettini, playing his first event since having to withdraw from Wimbledon with COVID, was bidding to win his third straight title after wins on grass at Queen’s and in Stuttgart.
Ruud takes a 3-2 lead in the their head-to-head record.