World No. 16 Casper Ruud has admitted that he is enjoying his status as the dark horse at the French Open. Ruud, who is enjoying a career-high ranking of No. 16 in the world, has had a great clay season so far and he is hoping to finish it with a strong run at Roland Garros.
On Wednesday, Ruud beat Kamil Majchrzak in straight sets 6-3 6-2 6-4 to reach the French Open third round. "It's nice to get some recognition that you had a good clay-court swing. I've won many matches. I've built a kind of clay-court reputation for myself.
I've been performing well many tournaments in a row this year. I think this is by far my best clay court season so far," Ruud said when asked about his dark horse status, per the ATP website. Ruud earned the first break of the match in the fourth game and then held on to his serve the rest of the set to win the opener.
Majchrzak led 2-1 after the opening three games of the second set but then Ruud claimed back-to-back breaks and won five games in a row to take a two-set lead. Ruud blew a two-break led in the third set but he broke Majchrzak again in the ninth game and served out for the match in the 10th game.
Ruud aims to back up his Geneva success
Ruud recently won the Geneva Open after beating Denis Shapovalov in the final. “It feels great that I’ve been playing well lately and reaching the later stages in my past tournaments,” Ruud said after winning Geneva.
“It is a big confidence-booster ahead of Roland Garros… It was a close match today and it could have gone either way”. Ruud has two ATP titles in his collection and he is hoping to add a third to his collection by winning Roland Garros.
“It feels as good to win today as it did in Buenos Aires [in 2020],” Ruud said. “I was more mature this week, knowing that I won a title before. It’s something else to do it the second time, but it’s the same great winning taste and winning feeling”.