World No. 10 Casper Ruud claims he doesn't mind the "clay court player" label since he has been looking up to Rafael Nadal from a very young and the Spaniard is a perfect example of what a clay court specialist can accomplish.
After Wimbledon, Ruud won three consecutive clay events -- Bastad, Gstaad and Kitzbuhel. Earlier this year, Ruud won Geneva and also made the semifinals at the Monte Carlo Masters, Madrid Masters and Munich. "I think winning those three tournament back-to-back was something special and something that raises your confidence and belief in yourself, definitely,” Ruud told the ATP Tour.
“I don’t mind being a clay court player. [Rafael] Nadal is the perfect example”.
Ruud taking notes from Nadal's book
"It’s possible for heavy topspin players to play well on [all] the surfaces and [Nadal] is the type of player that I looked up to for many years and will try to learn from when it comes to this transition from clay court to hard court,” Ruud explained.
Last week, Ruud made his Laver Cup debut. Ruud was playing in the first match of the Laver Cup when Roger Federer was announced to the Boston crowd. "I think I was at 3-1 in the first and I was about to return and they showed him on the screen and everyone went nuts.
He deserves it, the crowd was going crazy, it gave me chills. I was in the match mode but still it's something you can't block out from your feelings. Like I said, it gave me chills, it was an extremely fun experience for me and it's great to see him back in a tennis arena.
Even though he is not playing, he is always a big part of the tennis world and this event. He is one of the guys who made it all happen and started it. He deserved all the cheers he gets from the crowd," Ruud said of Federer.