Top seed Casper Ruud escaped from danger after losing a break in each set as the defending champion emerged with a hard-fought 7-6(3), 7-6(4) win into the semi-finals of the ATP Gstaad event on Friday.

The Norwegian who swept to three straight 250-level clay titles in the post-Wimbledon summer a year ago – Bastad, Gstaad and Kitzbuehel – advanced past Spain’s Jaume Munar in just over two and a quarter hours.

The seed was frustrated by his own sloppy play at times, comparing losing a break to a bogey on the golf course – another sporting field where the ATP NO. 5 also excels.

He led 4-1 in the first set and 3-1 in the second but required a pair of tiebreakers to earn victory.

“I had to work hard to get those breaks, and to give them away with sloppy games is frustrating,” he said..”It like a bogey in golf – the worst feeling.

“But every player knows what that is like.”

Ruud, who dropped serve twice, added that all was not dismal:

“I very played well at times, and I stepped it up in the tiebreakers,” he said after winning on his second match point.

“It’s a good feeling to know I can play well when it matters.. In the end I played two good tiebreaks and I’m very happy.”