Casper Ruud has message for Rafael Nadal after his career-biggest win

Ruud paid tribute to Nadal following his Barcelona win.

by Dzevad Mesic
Casper Ruud has message for Rafael Nadal after his career-biggest win
© Getty Images Sport - Alex Caparros

Casper Ruud couldn't hide his happiness after winning the Barcelona Open as he admitted that it was pretty special to win the biggest title of his career at a tournament that has its main court named after his idol Rafael Nadal.

On Sunday, 25-year-old Ruud won the biggest title of his career after beating Stefanos Tsitsipas 7-5 6-3 in the Barcelona final. After all of his first 10 ATP titles came at the ATP 250 category, Ruud finally won a title in a higher category - Barcelona is an ATP 500 event. 

In Barcelona, Nadal is a record 12-time champion. But already in 2017, the Barcelona Open organizers honored Nadal in a big way by naming the Centre Court after him - Pista Rafa Nadal. 

"Honestly, this has been worth all the wait. You know, lot of finals that I’ve lost have been tough; a bit disappointing of course. Any time you reach a final, it’s nonetheless a good week, so (you) can’t be too hard on yourself," Ruud said.

"But this one’s been a long time coming and super happy to do it here in Barcelona, in front of a packed stadium today. And Rafa Nadal court is special to me as I looked up to him all my childhood and came here myself as a 13-year-old boy to watch him and the others play here, so a great feeling."

Casper Ruud and Rafael Nadal
Casper Ruud and Rafael Nadal © Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

Ruud idolized Nadal as a kid

Since becoming one of the best players in the game, Ruud has numerous times spoken about his love for Nadal and how he inspired him to play tennis and motivated him to also be doing big things one day.

While Ruud managed to win 10 ATP titles in Barcelona and also make three Grand Slam finals, doubters would point out the Norwegian having only titles in the ATP 250 category. But now that Ruud has an ATP 500 title, he should silence his doubters at least for a bit. 

Casper Ruud
Casper Ruud © Getty Images Sport - Alex Caparros

But most importantly, Ruud did a very memorable thing for himself by becoming a champion at a tournament where his idol Nadal is an absolute legend and icon.

Casper Ruud Rafael Nadal