Casper Ruud: 'Rafael Nadal is my idol'

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Casper Ruud: 'Rafael Nadal is my idol'

World no. 36 Casper Ruud found some time to speak with the fans on Twitter, asking their questions for about 20 minutes. The young Norwegian said once again that Rafael Nadal is his idol and that he has learned a lot at his Academy since the summer of 2018 when he went there with his sister.

Casper made significant progress in the opening two months of the season before the coronavirus outbreak, winning 11 matches and lifting the first ATP title in Buenos Aires, as the first player from his country to achieve that in the Open era.

Ruud kicked off the season with victories over John Isner and Fabio Fognini at the ATP Cup, losing early in Auckland and Melbourne before claiming that first ATP trophy on beloved clay. His father Cristian was a top-40 player and Casper has already moved in front of his coach, reaching the 34th position on the ATP list and seeking the place in the top-30 once the action 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 and learning a lot from him.

In 2019, Casper passed around 60 rivals on the ATP list, winning 23 ATP matches and advancing into the first ATP final in Houston, making other notable results on the slowest surface and having a chance to play against Roger Federer at Roland Garros.

After the semi-final run in Kitzbuhel, the Oslo native barely collected 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 August.

Ruud has spent the last couple of months at home in Norway, having a chance to work on the court all the time and hoping to see the restart of the season as soon as possible.