The 21-year-old Casper Ruud has made great progress in the opening two months of the season before the coronavirus outbreak, winning 11 matches on the Tour and lifting the first ATP title in Buenos Aires. Casper is the first Norwegian player with an ATP title Casper opened the season with victories over John Isner and Fabio Fognini at the ATP Cup, losing early in Auckland and Melbourne before claiming the first ATP trophy as the first Norwegian ever to achieve that.
His father Cristian was a top-40 player but Casper is already better than him, reaching the 34th position on the ATP list and seeking the place in the top-30 once the season resumes after the devastating impact of the coronavirus.
In the summer of 2018, Casper and Cristian came to Rafael Nadal Academy in Mallorca where the youngster started to work with more coaches, including Tony Nadal, often training with the 19-time Major champion himself. In 2019, Casper passed some 60 rivals on the ATP list, winning 23 ATP matches and advancing into the first ATP final in Houston, making other notable results on his beloved clay and having a chance to play against Roger Federer at Roland Garros.
After the semi-final run in Kitzbuhel, the Oslo native barely won 150 points by the end of the season, working hard on his game in the offseason period and looking better than ever in the first couple of months of the new year before the coronavirus halted the action at least until July.
Speaking about Nadal, Ruud said he would love to be as humble as his idol and to have his fighting spirit. Also, he wants to take all the best elements from other legends like Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer as well, always improving his game and seeking big results in the future.
"I look up Rafael Nadal a lot; he is very humble and a great fighter, I want people to recognize that in me as well. I'm not trying to be like him but to bring the best elements from his game and also from Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic."