This will be the second time these two players will face each other, after Barcelona in 2017. Casper Ruud won this match on clay.
This is the third time Casper Ruud has played in this Grand Slam tournament, and the first time he has reached the third round. The Norwegian was eliminated in the opening round last year, and was stopped in the second round in 2018.
Radu Albot is playing the Australian Open for the fourth time in his career. It is also the first time he has reached the third round. Previously, he had only managed to get past the first round once (in 2019).
In this edition
Casper Ruud reached the third round after victories over Jordan Thompson (who retired in the third set when he was already leading 2-0) and Tommy Paul (3-1).
For his part, Radu Albot created a surprise in the first round by defeating Roberto Bautista (3-1 win). The Moldavian then beat Christopher O’Connell, who did not manage to play at the same level as in his previous match.
On paper, I have to admit that this match is not sexy at all. Nevertheless, I am sure that we will witness some satisfying rallies.
The course of Radu Albot is quite strange. At times he manages to find an interesting level of play, but I still have the impression that it’s hanging by a thread. No, I have no quarrel with him, but I’m afraid that these first two matches only hide his faults. Indeed, we can’t say that Roberto Bautista played at his usual level (60 direct faults anyway) and that Christopher O’Connell managed to play the same way he did against Jan-Lennard Struff (where he was impressive).
I still feel like Radu Albot has a little star over his head and he could still get through one more lap. However, based on the current tennis qualities of these two players, I can only favour Casper Ruud for this new match.
So I was not convinced by Radu Albot in his two previous matches. He still lacks consistency (37 faults for 29 winning shots against O’Connell). When he is set by his opponents, the Moldavian rarely manages to get away with it. In addition to this, he tends to make sure his shots (his balls can pass quite far from the net) and his backhand is far from being an exceptional shot.
Like his opponent of the day, Casper Ruud does not have an incredible backhand. But where he could well make the difference is in his aggressiveness in forehand which, taken flat, should make the difference against Albot (even more so when he manages to make his shift). I would also add that I find Casper Ruud more reliable on serve.
Radu Albot could still slip through the net. I don’t wish him, but I don’t think he will be able to win this match if Casper Ruud keeps the level he has been at since the beginning of this Australian Open.
Prediction: Casper Ruud wins