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ATP Acapulco: Ben Shelton vs Casper Ruud; Preview, Head-To-Head, and Prediction

Published 02/29/2024, 1:40 PM EST

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via Reuters

It looks like Ben Shelton is finally getting his feet going on the tennis court this year. He had a disappointing start to the season after the highs of 2023. Earlier this year, the American sensation bowed out of the Australian Open in the third round, suffering a heartbreaking defeat against Adrian Mannarino. Subsequently, he reached the semifinals in Dallas. Now, Shelton has a chance to make back-to-back semifinal appearances if he wins against Casper Ruud.

Ruud has had almost similar results as Shelton this year, with the only difference being that the Norwegian reached the final in Los Cabos. Thus, it promises to be a battle of equals when Shelton takes on Ruud.

Ben Shelton vs Casper Ruud: Preview

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Despite his good form of late, Ben Shelton has had to dig deep in both the matches he has played at the ATP 500 Acapulco. In the opening round clash, he overcame the challenge of Daniel Evans in three sets 2-6, 7-5, 7-6 (5). In another close win, Shelton got the better of Matteo Arnaldi in just over two and a half hours, winning 7-6 (1), 3-6, 6-3.

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Meanwhile, Ruud has had a comparatively simpler path than Shelton. Ruud took three sets to overcome Chris Eubanks in the first round. Subsequently, he gained his mojo back and had a straight-set victory over Dusan Lajovic in the second round. It will be a battle between youth and experience when Shelton takes on Ruud.

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Shelton vs Ruud: Head-to-Head

The two have faced off against each other twice on the tennis court. While Shelton defeated Ruud in their first meeting, the latter took his revenge in their latest meeting. They first played against each other in 2022 at the Cincinnati Masters, which the American won in straight sets. However, last year, Ruud defeated Shelton in Barcelona, so it promises to be a battle of equals when the two meet in Acapulco.

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Prediction: Ruud to win in straight sets

Although Shelton looks as if he’s back to his best, Ruud’s experience might prove to be superior. The Norwegian star is expected to win the match in straight sets. However, Shelton won’t go down without a fight and it will be an exciting encounter for the fans to watch. Their match is scheduled for the night session later today at Estadio.

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This year’s Mexican swing turned out great for Ruud. He has won five of his last six matches and that also gave him the opportunity to adapt to playing against different opponents and handle high-pressure situations. He also has a slight advantage considering he defeated Shelton 6-2, 7-6 (1) in the Barcelona Open last year.

The winner of this face-off will move ahead to play against the winner of the Holger Rune-Dominik Koepfer match in the semi-finals. Who are you rooting for? Let us know your picks in the comments below!

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Written by:

Vatsal Shah

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Vatsal Shah, a Tennis Writer at EssentiallySports, combines sports management insight with two years of rich content creation experience. His journey at ES involves delving into the core of tennis, covering ATP/WTA tours, and contributing around 2000 articles. Notably, one of his pieces on Venus Williams garnered over 400k views.
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Edited by:

Arunima Bhanot