World number 2 Casper Ruud will compete at the Turin ATP Finals for the second consecutive season. Last year's semi-finalist has joined Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz in the ATP premium event, playing at a high level in 2022 and taking his game to a higher level.
Ruud won 46 ATP matches this season prior to this week, reaching two Major finals and missing out on the chance to become No. 1 in the world after the US Open. Casper captured three small ATP titles on clay this year. Additionally, he racked up notable points in three significant events in Miami, Paris and New York, losing them to his ATP Finals rivals Nadal and Alcaraz.
The Norwegian won the title in Buenos Aires and reached the final in Miami, losing to Carlos Alcaraz 7-5, 6-4. Casper didn't play well on clay in the first four events of the spring cycle before raising his level. Ruud lost to Novak Djokovic in the Rome semi-final, won the Geneva crown and scored his first Major final at Roland Garros.
Casper faced the king of clay, Rafael Nadal, and suffered a tough 6-3 6-3 6-0 loss in two hours and 18 minutes. Rafa broke eight times and threw 37 winners and 18 unforced errors to control the pace and lift the 14th Roland Garros crown.
The Spaniard was especially impressive in the five- and six-shot rallies, building a 24-6 lead and marching over the finish line with a bagel in the third set. Ruud broke in the fourth game of the second set after Nadal's errors and built a 3-1 lead.
Colom speaks about Rafa Nadal
Toni Colom, former coach of Rafael Nadal, reminisced about the time when a congratulatory text from Roger Federer sent the Spaniard to cloud nine. "As many of you know, I was lucky enough to be able to experience Rafael Nadal's Futures, Challengers and first ATP stage very closely by accompanying him in certain tournaments there in 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005, with which I saw the birth of perhaps the greatest and most beautiful world tennis rivalry," he said.
"In my memory I have recorded the joy that Rafael expressed when in September 2005, on his way back to the hotel after winning the ATP final in Beijing, he received an SMS from Roger congratulating him on the Championship won minutes before and that demonstrates the good f*undations that were created. this exemplary relationship that has further enriched the greatness of sport and especially tennis," he stated.