'Roger Federer is more like an inspiration', says ATP star
by SIMONE BRUGNOLI | VIEW 3714
Roger Federer came to Houston for the 2003 ATP Master Cup to raise his level in the last two tournaments and challenge the other 10 rivals in the top 10. Roger won the Vienna title but did not play well in Madrid despite reaching the semi-finals.
, suffering early defeats in Basel and Paris in the following weeks and hoping to change that in Houston. Federer faced local favorite Andre Agassi in the group's first meeting, fighting to defeat the veteran 6-7, 6-3, 7-6.
After the first set, Roger settled into a good rhythm to find himself 5-3 up in the decider. Andre rallied with a late break to extend the clash and reach the tie break, where he won two match points. Federer kept his cool to repel them and sealed the 9-7 breaker to mark the first win over the American.
Playing against another opponent he had never beaten before, Federer produced top-notch tennis to defeat David Nalbandian 6-3, 6-0. The Swiss did everything well on the court, controlling the rhythm of both the serve and the return to unseat the Argentine for the first time in six games.
In the last free-for-all match, Roger defeated no. 2, Juan Carlos Ferrero, 6-3, 6-1 to advance to the semifinals in style, avenging Madrid's defeat. Federer saved all three break points and delivered four service breaks to get the upper hand.
The Swiss had 23 winners and 12 unforced errors, dominated his blows very well and dominated the Spanish in the most advanced exchanges. Roger got off to a good start, clinching a break at 15 in the second game and overcoming a slight scare in the third to forge a 3-0 lead.
They both served well late in the set, and Federer claimed it 6-3 before setting up another attack in the second. Casper Ruud recently won three consecutive titles on clay court after he clinched the Generali Open in Kitzbuhel.
The Norwegian also improved his ranking by two places, as he moved from World No. 14 to 12. However, he has revealed his dream of beating either Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal in the near future.
Ruud reveals his idols
Casper Ruud came under the limelight after his victory at three events in three consecutive weeks.
He has mentioned his tennis idols in an interview with ATP. However, he does believe he can beat his idols, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. “Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. It was more looking up to them. When you are young it is tough to believe you can be there yourself and beat them.
They are more like an inspiration, but the older you get, the more you start to believe, and you get to practise with them sometimes. They are obviously better than you, but maybe not as much as you would maybe think,” said Ruud when asked about his dream victories.
Casper Ruud described his experience of playing against Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic previously. However, his attitude was professional back then as well, and he had the hunger to win. “I was lucky enough to play Novak Djokovic and Federer once, when I went onto the court I went to try and win. You have to try and look at them as just another player you want to beat,” said Ruud.