'Rafael Nadal invited me, and I missed my vacation,' Casper Ruud says



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'Rafael Nadal invited me, and I missed my vacation,' Casper Ruud says

Casper Ruud met Rafael Nadal in 2018, heading to his tennis complex in Mallorca and working with some of the world's leading coaches. Casper won 23 ATP matches in 2019 and played his first ATP final in Houston. The Norwegian needed only a couple of years to become one of the finest players on the Tour, playing in two Major finals this year and earning a chance to become world no.

1 at the US Open. Casper wrapped up the season ranked 3rd behind Carlos Alcaraz and Rafael Nadal, eager for more in the upcoming season. Instead of heading for a well-deserved vacation, Casper decided to travel to South America with Rafael Nadal and embrace five matches in Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, Colombia and Mexico.

Nadal leads 3-1 ahead of their final meeting in Mexico City. Their first clash came in Buenos Aires, and Nadal earned a 7-6, 6-2 victory at Arena Parque Roca. Ruud made a better start and opened a 4-2 lead with a break in game five.

Nadal broke back in game eight and wasted a set point on the return at 6-5. The Spaniard saved three set points in the tie break and clinched it 10-8 with a smash winner. Nadal broke Ruud in the second set's games three and five for 4-1 and held at love in game eight to seal the deal.

Nadal and Ruud played the second duel at Mineirinho Arena in Belo Horizonte. Rafa prevailed 7-6, 7-5 after digging deep in both sets. Ruud led 3-0 in the opener before Nadal pulled the break back for 3-3. They served well in the rest of the set, and Rafa clinched the tie break 7-4.

Ruud saved a set point at 4-5 in the second set before Nadal broke him in game 12 to emerge at the top.

Rafael Nadal and Casper Ruud are on the South American swing.

Casper finally beat Rafa for the first time on the fast court in Quito, earning a 6-4, 6-4 win.

The Spaniard bounced back in Bogota, playing well in front of the Colombian fans and scoring a 7-5, 6-4 triumph. The Norwegian grabbed an early break in the opener before a 22-time Major winner pulled it back. Rafa survived the eighth game, delivered a break in the 11th and closed the set on his serve for 7-5.

The Spaniard moved in front at 2-2 in the second set and served well to wrap up the duel with a hold in game ten. Nadal and Ruud will play their fifth duel of the swing in Mexico City on December 1.