Casper Ruud targets his second ATP title of the ‘Golden Swing’ when he faces Brazilian teenager Thiago Seyboth Wild in Santiago on Sunday.
?? Casper Ruud  vs ?? Thiago Seyboth Wild [WC] Match Info
Date: Sunday March 1
Tournament: ATP Santiago Final
Time: 4.00pm local time (7.00pm GMT)
Casper Ruud vs Thiago Seyboth Wild Head-to-Head
Casper Ruud vs Thiago Seyboth Wild Match Preview
Yet to drop a set in Santiago this week, Ruud is aiming for the second ATP title of his career and second trophy of the ‘Golden Swing’ after triumphing in Buenos Aires a few weeks ago.
It’s been a superb 12 months for Ruud, who last season broke into the top 100 during the Golden Swing – and if he can prevail on Sunday, he is projected to rise into the top 30 for the first time.
Ruud started his Santiago campaign with a bye before taking out Alejandro Tabilo, Federico Delbonis and Albert Ramos-Vinolas in straight sets to advance into the final.
“I feel good. Santiago is the last tournament of this South American swing. I enjoy coming to South America so much. It’s been a special place for me, really,” Ruud said. “Last year I broke into the Top 100, now I’m playing two finals. It’s been a very solid trip for me. This is very nice to end the swing here.”
Coached by his father Christian (a former pro who played Roger Federer at Roland Garros in the 90s), Ruud eclipsed his Dad’s career-high ranking of No. 39 by virtue of becoming the first Norwegian to win an ATP title in Buenos Aires last month.
The 21-year-old first made headlines on tour when he made the Rio de Janeiro semi-finals as a wildcard in 2017, but he took his game to the next level in 2019, breaking into the top 100 during the Golden Swing for the first time before reaching the Houston final and third round of Roland Garros, where he went down to Federer. Ruud was also a semi-finalist in Sao Paolo and Kitzbuhel last season as he finished the year just outside the top 50.
As mentioned, Ruud will climb to No. 28 in the world if he wins the Santiago title – but to do that, he must over a 19-year-old rising star in Sunday’s final.
Seyboth Wild only had two tour-level wins before this week, but after receiving a wildcard into the Santiago main draw, the Brazilian has put together a fine week, defeating Facando Bagnis, Juan Ignacio Londero, Cristian Garin and Renzo Olivo to reach his maiden ATP final. Seyboth Wild now has the chance to become the youngest player since Rafael Nadal in 2005 to win a title during the Golden Swing.
A 2018 US Open junior champion, Seyboth Wild gave no real indication this run was coming, judging by his form so far in 2020. The 19-year-old lost in the opening round of Australian Open qualifying and went down in his first matches in the Punta Open Challenger and Cordoba Open qualifying. Seyboth Wild did however turn heads at the 500-level Rio Open last week, winning a dramatic opening round encounter against Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in a match that lasted nearly four hours, before going down in a deciding set tiebreak to Borna Coric.
After starting the season ranked outside the top 200, Seyboth Wild is projected to rise to No. 131 courtesy of making the Santiago final – and if he wins the title, he will climb to around No. 113.
Casper Ruud vs Thiago Seyboth Wild Prediction
Seyboth Wild is certainly a player on the rise – at least on clay – and with the wins he’s put together this week, the 19-year-old has a decent chance to take home his first piece of ATP silverware. However, Ruud is a far more accomplished player at this stage of their respective careers and knows what it takes to win an ATP title, having done so in Buenos Aires. It will be a grind-fest, but Ruud’s experience and consistency gives him the edge on Sunday.