Casper Ruud of Norway beat home-crowd favorite Diego Schwartzman 5-7, 6-2, 6-3 on Sunday to win his second Argentina Open.
“It feels very good to have the trophy back in my hands,” said Ruud, who was the tournament's top seed and won the first of his six professional titles at the 2020 Argentina Open. Ruud is No. 8 in the world.
About 5,000 fans came to the court to support Schwartzman, an Argentinian who is ranked No. 15 in the world and won last year's Argentina Open.
Schwartzman pushed Ruud to win the first set. But Ruud's power and precision prevailed from the second set on. The match was 2 hours and 34 minutes long under blazing sun.
The 23-year-old Norwegian has never lost at the Buenos Aires Lawn Tennis Club, holding a record of 9 wins and 0 losses.
Ruud overcame Spain’s Roberto Carballés Baena and Argentinians Federico Coria and Federico Delbonis to reach the final. Schwartzman bested Spain’s Jaume Munar, Argentina’s Francisco Cerundolo and Italy’s Sonego to play the decider in Buenos Aires.
'Perfect start' for Ruud
Norway's Casper Ruud said he made the "perfect start" to the 2022 season after winning his seventh ATP tour title at the Argentina Open in Buenos Aires on Sunday.
Schwartzman had ended a 13-year wait for an Argentine champion with his 2021 title but he could not repeat those heroics against Ruud.
"It means a lot," Ruud said. "I think this is the perfect start and it will give me confidence for the rest of the season and also for the next weeks when I am here in South America."
Ruud did not play at the Argentina Open last year and the 23-year-old came into the event this year following an ankle injury that forced his late withdrawal from the Australian Open.
"Coming into the week, I was here to try to defend the title not from last year but 2020 ... if I didn't defend it, I would have lost points in the rankings," Ruud added.
"I was a bit nervous and it was the first time I had to do this in my career. I was successful so it feels very good and it's good to have the trophy in my hands like I had two years ago."
(With inputs from Reuters)