Casper Ruud has returned Norway to the tennis map in the last couple of years, winning Seville Challenger crown in 2016 and reaching the semi-final at the ATP 500 event in Rio de Janeiro last February, playing some impressive tennis to catch the attention of tennis fans all around the world.
Casper is a son of Christian Ruud, the best Norwegian player in the Open era who played in one ATP final and cracked the Top 40 back in 1995. Christian had to end his career prematurely due to tendonitis in the right shoulder back in 2001 at the age of 28, concentrating his focus on some off-court activities and development of Casper, who inherited father's talent.
He was a part of the Norwegian Davis Cup squad since the age of 16 and he played at least one tie between 1989-2000, earning Davis Cup Commitment Award for his dedication and devotion. Christian played his last match at the Roland Garros 2001 when he had to retire against Sargis Sargsian in the first round, and he is ready to step back on the court next week when Norway visits Egypt in Group II Europe/Africa Zone.
The tie will be played in Sharm El Sheikh and Norwegian captain Anders Haseth has selected an interesting team that will try to score an away win. Casper will not be the leader of the squad, preparing himself for ATP 250 event in Quito where he is scheduled to play in the qualifications, leaving Viktor Durasovic as the biggest hope of the Vikings.
The rest of the team is very interesting, with Joachim Bjerke making his return for the first time since October 2016, playing just two Futures matches that season before he decided to take a break from the sport. This 23-year-old played for Norwegian Davis Cup team between 2011-2015, scoring 9 wins from 13 ties, and it will be interesting to see him back on the court.
16-year-old Herman Hoeyeraal has been selected for the first time, as one of the most promising juniors from this country, and this will be a great experience for him at the start of his career. In the end, this colorful selection is enriched with an ultimate veteran, as Christian Ruud decided to end his retirement and get back to the court after 17 years! During his long Davis Cup career, Ruud played 54 matches and won 31 of those, competing for the last time against Israel in April 2000 when Norway prevailed by 3-2. Christian's last Davis Cup match was a memorable one, losing to Harel Levy 4-6 7-6 6-2 6-7 6-1, and we should see if he is still capable of playing on a decent level against the solid team of Egypt. The two teams have met three times in the past, with Egypt leading 2-1.