Casper Ruud continued his post-US Open winning run, capturing his ninth straight victory to move into the fourth round of the Indian Wells Masters on Monday.
The Norwegian sixth seed who leads the ATP with five titles in 2021, has strung together two Davis Cup victories, a Laver Cup win and six on the trot in ATP events to find himself at the business end of the Californian desert classic.
Ruud is aiming to back up the breakthrough hardcourt trophy he won eight days ago in San Diego; he stands provisional eighth for a first-time spot in the eight-man ATP Finals which have been moved to Turin after more than a decade in London.
Ruud booked his last 16 place with a 6-7(4), 6-4, 6-4 defeat of Lloyd Harris after nearly three hours of battle. The South African laid on 18 aces but they were not enough to throw the European seed off his big game.
Ruud saved all eight break points he faced while breaking US Open quarter-finalist Harris twice.