The top seed dropped just one set en route to the title at the ATP 250 event last season and once again looked at home on the clay in Switzerland. The Norwegian saved all five break points he faced to advance after one hour and 39 minutes in their first ATP Head2Head meeting.
“I think it was a great match,” Ruud said in his on-court interview. “The conditions are quite challenging here with the altitude and the ball can fly. You need to serve and return well and I think I did that well all day. I started a little bit shakey, had some break points against me, but I was able to win that game and get going. It is nice to get a win again.”
Ruud, who suffered a disappointing opening-round exit in Bastad last week, will next meet Spaniard Jaume Munar.
“I have had great success here and in Geneva, so it feels very good to be back,” Ruud said. “It was a wish to play in Gstaad because we had great memories. This city is beautiful.
”It is nice to come back to a place where you have won before and hopefully I can do well at this tournament. It is a great atmosphere and I love playing in Switzerland.”
The World No. 5 is trying to win his third tour-level trophy of the season this week, having triumphed on clay in Buenos Aires and Geneva. Earlier this year, the 23-year-old also reached his first ATP Masters 1000 final in Miami and maiden Grand Slam championship match at Roland Garros.
#NextGenATP Lehecka was aiming to reach his second tour-level quarter-final of the season in Gstaad after reaching the semi-finals in Rotterdam. The 20-year-old is sixth in the Pepperstone ATP Race To Milan.
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Ruud now holds a 13-0 record in Switzerland, having also won the title in Geneva twice.