Casper Ruud is definitely one of the best players of the moment, one of those called to take the tennis into the close future. He was born in Bærum, Norway on December 22, 1998. The youngster is regarded as the greatest Norwegian tennis player of all time, as well as one of the best of his generation, considering that he has won nine titles during his career. In the Slams he was a finalist at the 2022 editions of the Roland Garros and at the US Open, and in the same year he reached the final of the ATP Finals.
His best ranking is position No. 2, reached in September 2022. He is the first Norwegian tennis player to have won a tournament on the ATP Tour, reached the final of a Major and played in the ATP Finals. He started playing tennis at the age of 4 with his father Christian Ruud, a former tennis player who reached 39th position in the ATP rankings in 1995 and who also followed him as a professional coach. As a child, Casper Ruud also played soccer, ice hockey and especially golf.
At the age of 19 he began training at Rafael Nadal's academy in Mallorca. In the junior category Slams in singles he does not go beyond the third rounds reached in 2015 at the Roland Garros and the US Open and the second round at Wimbledon. In doubles with Miomir Kecmanović, he reached the semifinals in the doubles tournaments in his category at Wimbledon 2015 and 2016 and at Roland Garros 2016. He won three doubles and five singles titles on the ITF junior circuit, among which the Osaka Mayor's Cup stands out. In January 2016 he became number 1 in the world rankings and in July he ended his experience among the juniors at Wimbledon.
About his childhood, he said: "I had to go to school and try to focus a bit on subjects, which wasn't always my favourite. But I was always excited to go out on the tennis court and play. And we were always , as I said, always competitive. The most fun for me was playing points and challenging the other kids at home, usually the older ones, because I have to be honest and say I was the best of my age in Norway, so I could playing with the older boys and there was nothing better than beating a boy a year or two older So, I was looking forward to training in the afternoon and if I had the chance, I could have stayed for hours and hours playing points and all this stuff with other players."
A curious anecdote about Ruud, told by Toni Nadal. He said: "I remember when he came to the academy, he had a bad backhand because in my opinion he had a bad movement with his legs. Now his backhand is quite good. Every year he got a little better. I remember when he came to the academy he didn't never thought he could become number 3 in the world. I have seen many of his games and he is a very good player. He can become number one." The Baerum native tennis player at the age of 19 had entered the academy of Rafael Nadal, his idol as he himself admitted before the match against the Iberian in the Finals, in Mallorca and precisely because of this Toni talked about him Nadal.
In June 2014, he made his debut on the ITF Tour with a loss in Futures Croatia F12. After a series of defeats in the first round, he won the first two meetings in the Futures Finland F1 in August 2015. In February 2016 he won the first ITF title in the Futures Spain F3 defeating Carlos Taberner in the final. The following month, he made his Davis Cup debut in Lithuania's 3-2 win, losing in singles to Ricardas Berankis and doubles, before beating Laurynas Grigelis for the Baltic.
Soon after, he lost the final of the Futures USA F10 and tried in vain to access the main draw of the Miami Masters. In August he won her second ITF tournament at Futures Finland F1. In September he won the first Challenger in which he participated, the Copa Sevilla. In the quarterfinals he defeated for the first time a top 100 player in the ATP rankings, the nº 75 Inigo Cervantes, and in the final he beat the nº 101 Tarō Daniel 6-3, 6-4. The result allows him to reach 274th place in the standings, with a leap of 176 positions.
At the end of the month, thanks to a wildcard, he entered the draw of an ATP tournament for the first time at the Chengdu Open and was eliminated in the first round. He ends the year by losing the final of the Norway F3, the last Futures tournament in which he participates, and in 225th place in the ranking. In 2017, at the Rio Open, the first ATP 500 tournament in which he participates with a wildcard. He beat ATP No. 88 Rogerio Dutra Silva in the first round and No. 85 Thiago Monteiro in the quarterfinals. He is beaten in the semifinals, during which he also wastes a match-ball, by ATP No. 24 Pablo Carreno Busta with the score 6-2, 5-7, 0-6. In 2018, not having repeated the results of the beginning of the 2017 season, he lost positions in the ATP rankings and in April he found himself at 205th.
He starts to recover thanks to the final reached at the end of the month in the Francavilla Challenger, lost against Gianluigi Quinzi, and in May he also reaches the final in the Braga Challenger, where he is defeated by the host Pedro Sousa. At the end of the month, he passed the qualifications at Roland Garros for the first time and was eliminated in the second round by Albert Ramos-Viñolas. He shows up for the first time at the Wimbledon tournament and is eliminated in the first qualifying round. At the Swedish Open, he scored his first win over a top 40 player by beating ATP No. 39 and defending champion David Ferrer in the second round, and was eliminated by Richard Gasquet in the quarterfinals. At the end of August he passed the US Open qualifiers for the first time and was beaten in the first round by Guido Pella. He closes the season 112th in the standings with the semifinals reached in the Challengers of Fairfield, Calgary and Las Vegas.
In April 2019, he reached his first final in an ATP tournament in Houston, losing it in three sets again against Garin. He confirmed his good form in May at the Internazionali d'Italia, in which he passed the qualifications and reached the second round of a Masters 1000 for the first time, losing in straight sets to Juan Martín del Potro. In this way he continues to climb the world rankings, reaching 63rd position.
Thanks to this position, he entered for the first time directly in the main draw of a Grand Slam at Roland Garros, where he beat Ernests Gulbis in the first round and the No. 29 seed Matteo Berrettini in the second round without losing any sets. In the next round he was defeated in three games by world No. 3 Federer. He reaches the semifinals in Buenos Aires in 2020, without losing sets, beating Pablo Andújar, Roberto Carballés Baena and Dušan Lajović. In the penultimate act he wins in comeback against Juan Ignacio Londero and reaches his second career ATP final.
On February 16 he won his first ATP title by beating Pedro Sousa with a score of 6-1, 6-4 and the day after he improved his best ranking climbing to 34th position. On May 22, 2021, he won his second ATP title at the Geneva Open, defeating Denis Shapovalov in the final with a score of 7-6, 6-4. At the Roland Garros he doesn't go beyond the third round, beaten in the fifth set by the emerging Alejandro Davidovich Fokina. At the end of the tournament he announces that he will not take part in the Tokyo Games. He is a great protagonist in the final part of the European clay season, winning three consecutive tournaments. In Bastad he doesn't lose any sets and in the final he gets the better of Federico Coria with a double 6-3. In Gstaad he loses only one set, in the quarterfinals to Benoît Paire, and in the final he leaves only five games to Hugo Gaston.
He meets greater resistance in Kitzbühel, where he leaves a set to Mario Vilella Martínez and Mikael Ymer, in the semifinal he wins in two partials against Arthur Rinderknech and wins the title by beating Pedro Martínez in three sets. The 12 consecutive victories guarantee him the 12th place in the world, the new best ranking. Conquers his sixth ATP title, first on hard-courts, in the inaugural edition of the San Diego Open; during the tournament he loses only one set in the semifinal against Grigor Dimitrov and in the final he concedes only two games to Cameron Norrie.
In 2022 he won three titles: Buones Aires, Geneva and Gstaad. But above all he reaches his first two Slam finals: at the Roland Garros and at the US Open. He also got the final of the year-end Masters, in Turin. At the Roland Garros, after the successes against Tsonga and Ruusuvuori, in the third round he comes back two sets behind Sonego, then eliminates Hurkacz, Rune and Cilic in the semifinal. In the final he meets Nadal for the first time in his career, who gives him only six games and is crowned champion in Paris for the 14th time in his career. At the end of the tournament, the Norwegian brings the best ranking to 6th place and the following week he climbs to 5th.
At the US Open he reached his second final in a Slam, eliminating in order Kyle Edmund, Tim van Rijthoven, Tommy Paul Corentin Moutet, Matteo Berrettini and in the semifinal Karen Khachanov. In the final the primacy in the ATP ranking is played with Carlos Alcaraz: the Spaniard wins in the fourth set and at the end of the tournament Ruud rises to 2nd place in the world behind the Spaniard. He doesn't achieve significant results in the following tournaments and shows up.
Regarding the final loss in New York against Alcaraz, he said: "The final of the US Open was the final I was closest to, the one where I felt him the most. It's not that I always think about that final, but there are some moments when i have flashbacks of that final in my head i think what would have happened if i hit that passerby to put me up 2-1, because i had a couple of set points, but carlos played a very brave tennis , he was brilliant in those two points. Maybe in one of them I was very passive, but at the end of the day we have to congratulate Carlos because he was brave, he was not afraid.
He scored twice and it paid off Of course I wish I was ready to return his serves and win the point when he returned. You can always think of doing something else, but if it's that easy, you do it, don't you? People ask me why I didn't do this or that, and I reply that it is not that simple.Of the two finals of the Grand Slam he attended, he clearly says that "was the most fun, because it was the closest I came. At the same time I have these flashbacks and I think the story could have been very different. But it also gives me a lot of motivation for next year.
Who knows if sooner or later I will be able to reach the first place in the standings, right? I know that this year I have come very close, so this gives me a great motivation to work harder and to hope for something similar this season. In my opinion, the amount of talent on the circuit right now is magnificent and I believe that many more players will have the opportunity to win the Grand Slam in the future than we have seen in the last 17 or 18 years." He starts 2023 playing with Norway in the United Cup, but being eliminated by Italy.
After participating in the Australian Open he was eliminated by US Janson Brooksby. Also due to a physical problem. In fact, he said: "I asked for the intervention of the physiotherapist because I have been living with abdominal discomfort for two years. When I serve, the pain surfaces on the left side. Today it didn't affect it, but it is something I will work on immediately to eliminate this problem. By strengthening my physique, I will certainly have some benefits. In the third and fourth I was able to serve a little more freely and feel better when I moved around. I hope it's nothing serious."
Regarding his elimination at the 2023 Australian Open, he also stated: "I felt like I was working to get into the match. But I had a bad start in the fourth, and unfortunately I couldn't recover. It's frustrating and annoying at the same time, but at the same time it's fair to acknowledge the merits of the opponent, because he stayed there and fought well. Physically it was a tough match. It's easy to sit here and say that that tour in South America was bad for both Rafa and me. I think sometimes it's a coincidence. The margins of winning and losing are small these days and I just realized it. At the US Open, margins went my way, not here."
Casper Ruud has some winning weapons: the best shots are his serve and above all his forehand, particularly powerful and much improved after the first years as a professional. Ruud is also quite strong mentally and physically and runs a lot. He is distinguished by continuity of performance and good psychophysical preparation, which have allowed him constant progress without suffering particular setbacks. Among his qualities is a great competitive spirit, which he masks with a calm and detached demeanor.
Federer praised his self-control and calmness, arguing that together with the concentration and energy he demonstrates on the court, they would have led him to good results. In the early part of his career he achieved the vast majority of successes on clay, raising doubts that could remain at the top in a period in which tournaments on this surface had decreased and games were mainly played on hard courts, particularly in the major tournaments.
The progress made in the service, with the forehand and to a lesser extent with the backhand, however, led to good results also on hard courts, such as the fourth round reached at the 2021 Australian Open, the title won at the 2021 San Diego Open, the semifinal played at the ATP Finals 2021 and the final at the Miami Open 2022, the final Us Open 2022 and the final at the ATP Finals 2022.
Ruud is the son of former professional tennis player Christian Ruud and Lele Ruud. He has two sisters, Caroline and Charlotte, and shares his father's passion for golf. He grew up in the Snarøya district of Bærum, with Rafael Nadal as his tennis idol.
Casper is in a relationship with Maria Galligani, who is currently pursuing a masters degree in psychology at the University of Denmark. The couple has been dating since 2018 and Maria has appeared frequently on Ruud's Instagram since then, and the couple also share photos with their dog Bajas Galligani Ruud. They are a very close-knit couple.
Ruud has earned $9,475,925 in prize money through his tournaments. His most successful year was 2021, the year in which he captured five of his six singles titles. Some of his popular appraisals include Arctic, Lundin Energy, Yonex, Proaktiv, Porsche and Vasser. Ruud has been approved by Porsche. The supercar website explained how Casper is a perfect match for the Porsche brand with big ambitions, winning instincts and his drive to become the best in his business.
Buenos Aires (Outdoor/Clay)
San Diego (Outdoor/Hard)
Buenos Aires (Outdoor/Clay)