Norwegian rising star Casper Ruud says world No. 1 Rafael Nadal means business when he is on the court but the off the court he is just a very humble and nice guy. The 19-year-old will be preparing for the 2019 season at the Rafa Nadal Academy.
The Norwegian has never played against the Spaniard in an ATP match but has hit several times with the 17-time Grand Slam champion. "He's taken an interest in me since I started training there (the Rafa Nadal Academy) and asks me how I'm doing.
He's very focused an all about business on the court, but off he's very nice and humble. He's just a great guy," Ruud said of Nadal, per Tennis TourTalk. Meanwhile, world No. 117 Ruud is hoping to make a splash in his last tournament of the season.
The 19-year-old has reached the Las Vegas Challenger semi-final -- where he is set to Australia's Thanasi Kokkinakis. The Norwegian lost to Bjorn Fratangelo two weeks ago in the Fairfield Challenger semi-final, before losing to Jordan Thompson in the Calgary Challenger semi-final a week ago.
"I came from the indoor courts in Calgary where I made the semifinals, and I want to end the year on a high note by winning it all here in Vegas," Ruud said. Ruud has yet to win a Challenger title this season as he earlier this year ended runner-up at the Challenger events in Francavilla and Braga.