Casper Ruud: The Great Hope of Norwegian tennis

(Photo by Andy Cheung/Getty Images)
(Photo by Andy Cheung/Getty Images) /
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Casper Ruud is fully aware that when there is a discussion about the best players in men’s tennis today, you will typically hear names such as Djokovic, Alcaraz, Medvedev, Nadal, and Tsitsipas. If the conversation shifts to the “next-gen” Alcaraz pops up again alongside Sinner, Rune, Tiafoe, and to a lesser extent Musetti.

Ruud, who sits at No. 4 in the latest world rankings, knows he falls somewhere in the middle of both these groups. His game is not as flashy as a Gael Monfils nor is it as smooth as a Dimitrov or Federer.

No, the 24-year-old Norwegian is a heavy-hitting grinder. He will wear down his opponents with ruthless topspin patterns from the baseline. His defensive work has continuously improved year by year. It’s this constant solidity that has spurred the man from Oslo, Norway to the heights he has touched in this game.

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He did not burst onto the scene from Day 1. It has been a steady increase one brick at a time as he has rounded out his game. His first title on the ATP Tour came during the Golden Swing of South America where he won the 250 event in Buenos Aires in 2020.

This was followed by a stunning run on the clay the next season where he racked up 4 titles on the red dirt. However, wanting to shed the moniker of being a clay-court specialist, he scooped up an ATP 250 title on the hard courts of San Diego.