Casper Ruud, 23, revealed that reaching the Rome Masters semifinal in 2020 gave him the confidence and belief that he could be a top player on the ATP Tour. When the 2020 season resumed following the pandemic break, Ruud reached his first Masters semifinal on the clay courts of Rome.
In his first Masters semifinal, Ruud competed extremely well versus Novak Djokovic, but the now 21-time Grand Slam champion won 7-5 6-3. Since then, Ruud has won eight ATP titles, reached a Grand Slam final, and broke into the top-5.
"Everything kind of started for me when we came back after the COVID break in 2020 and I reached my first semifinal in Rome in an ATP 1000. It was a really big result in a big event for me. Since then, I think, I just had more self-belief that I kind of belonged there, playing big matches and doing well in the big tournaments," Ruud said on Tennis Channel's "Credentialed."
Ruud on reaching his first Grand Slam final
Ruud, who is considered as one of the best clay-court players, reached his first Grand Slam final at this past French Open.
In his first Grand Slam final, Ruud suffered a straight-set loss as Rafael Nadal beat the Norwegian 6-3 6-3 6-0 to win a record 14th French Open title. Ruud maybe didn't win his first Grand Slam title at the French Open, but he is confident that he can do it in the future.
"I haven't had a really, really big result in a Slam yet until Roland Garros. That gave me even more belief and confidence, in a way, in myself, that I can hopefully do it again and play more finals, that I'm finding my rhythm here at the top level in the world, I guess," Ruud reflected.
This week, Ruud is playing at the Montreal Masters. Ruud is the fourth seeded player and he has a first round bye at the tournament.