Ruud Advances to Barcelona Open Final, His Fourth Title Match of the Year

Casper Ruud of Norway in action during his semifinal match against Tomas Etcheverry of Argentina at the ATP Barcelona Open tennis tournament held in Barcelona, Spain, 20 April 2024. (EPA)
Casper Ruud of Norway in action during his semifinal match against Tomas Etcheverry of Argentina at the ATP Barcelona Open tennis tournament held in Barcelona, Spain, 20 April 2024. (EPA)
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Ruud Advances to Barcelona Open Final, His Fourth Title Match of the Year

Casper Ruud of Norway in action during his semifinal match against Tomas Etcheverry of Argentina at the ATP Barcelona Open tennis tournament held in Barcelona, Spain, 20 April 2024. (EPA)
Casper Ruud of Norway in action during his semifinal match against Tomas Etcheverry of Argentina at the ATP Barcelona Open tennis tournament held in Barcelona, Spain, 20 April 2024. (EPA)

Casper Ruud advanced to his fourth final of the year after beating Tomas Martin Etcheverry in straight sets at the Barcelona Open on Saturday.

The sixth-ranked Norwegian won the semifinal 7-6 (6), 6-4 on the outdoor clay court. He will face either Stefanos Tsitsipas or Dusan Lajovic for the title on Sunday.

Ruud has won 10 career titles but lost all three previous finals he played in 2024, including last weekend when he fell to Tsitsipas in the Monte Carlo title match.

Ruud needed to save a set point in the first set against Martin Etcheverry to record his season-leading 28th win.

Top-seeded Carlos Alcaraz withdrew from the tournament before it started because of an injury, while second-seeded Andrey Rublev lost in the second round.

Rafael Nadal, a 12-time champion in Barcelona, made his return to the courts for the first time since January on Tuesday, only to lose the next day.



Teenagers Yamal and Cubarsi Included in Young Spain Squad for European Championship 

Barcelona striker Lamine Yamal celebrates during the LaLiga match FC Barcelona vs Rayo Vallecano, in Barcelona, Spain, 19 May 2024. (EPA)
Barcelona striker Lamine Yamal celebrates during the LaLiga match FC Barcelona vs Rayo Vallecano, in Barcelona, Spain, 19 May 2024. (EPA)
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Teenagers Yamal and Cubarsi Included in Young Spain Squad for European Championship 

Barcelona striker Lamine Yamal celebrates during the LaLiga match FC Barcelona vs Rayo Vallecano, in Barcelona, Spain, 19 May 2024. (EPA)
Barcelona striker Lamine Yamal celebrates during the LaLiga match FC Barcelona vs Rayo Vallecano, in Barcelona, Spain, 19 May 2024. (EPA)

Spain is set to take a young squad to the European Championship, with teenagers Lamine Yamal and Pau Cubarsi among the players picked by coach Luis de la Fuente on Monday.

Fermín López, the 21-year-old Barcelona forward, also was included in the list of 29 players announced by the coach, who will have to cut three names from the squad for the tournament in Germany. López has yet to make his debut with the national team.

“They have talent and motivation,” De la Fuente said. “They are very versatile players. Fermín will take a leap forward with this call-up. I hope that they will benefit and show all the potential that they have.”

Ayoze Pérez was another of the few surprises on the list, with the 30-year-old Real Betis forward getting his first call-up to the senior squad.

Other strikers included Atletico Madrid’s Álvaro Morata and Real Madrid’s Joselu, as well as the 16-year-old Yamal of Barcelona and 21-year-old Nico Williams of Athletic Bilbao.

Along with Cubarsi, the 17-year-old Barcelona center back, other defenders included Madrid’s Nacho Fernández and 38-year-old veteran Jesús Navas of Sevilla.

Forwards Marco Asensio of Paris Saint-Germain, Pablo Sarabia of Wolverhampton, Brais Méndez of Real Sociedad and Gerard Moreno of Villarreal were left out.

Veteran Atletico midfielder Koke Resurrección also didn’t make the squad.

Spain will be aiming for a record fourth European Championship. It was drawn into Group B with Italy, Albania and Croatia.

“It’s a very difficult group but we are prepared,” De la Fuente said. “We will be fighting to be among the title contenders in the end.”

Spain will play warmups against Andorra and Northern Ireland before heading to Germany.