Casper Ruud admitted he didn't really have an answer for Rafael Nadal's game in the French Open final. Ruud, 23, was playing in his first Grand Slam final and the much-more experienced Nadal took the advantage of that and claimed a routine 6-3 6-3 6-0 victory.
Ruud had a 3-1 lead in the second set, before losing the last 11 games of the match. “Well, I wish I knew the answers too, but I got a cheap break of serve I think in the second set and was up 3-1, and of course wanted to get the match going and maybe try to win the set,” Ruud said, per Tennis365.
“But then he stepped up and he showed that when he needs to he plays great. It was tough for me to really know where I should play the ball. When you are playing defensive against Rafa on clay, he will eat you alive”.
Ruud: At least I can tell my grandkids I played Nadal in a RG final
Nadal is considered as the greatest clay court player in tennis history and Ruud felt it on his own skin how it feels to play the Spaniard on clay. “It was tough for me to really know where I should play the ball because from both sides he has, two forehands because his backhand is also strong, even though it’s maybe a little bit weaker," Ruud explained.
"On the forehand he plays with a little bit of spin and kind of feels like you’re playing a right-handed forehand. I didn’t know exactly where to play there in the end and he made me run around the court too much”.
Ruud didn't impress in his first meeting Nadal but he tried to stay positive. “I wish I could make the match closer and all these things, but at the end of the day I can hopefully one day tell my grandkids that I played Rafa on Chatrier in the final, and they will probably say, ‘Wow, did you?’ I will say ‘Yes’. I’m probably going to enjoy this moment for a long time," Ruud added.