Casper Ruud is one of the exciting ‘next gen’ players on the ATP tour. The Norwegian has won 7 ATP titles so far, five of them in his incredible year of 2021. The previous highest-ranked Norwegian tennis star was his father Christian Ruud, Casper’s coach and mentor.
ATP Singles Ranking: World No. 10
Turned Pro: 2015
Grand Slam Career Wins/Losses: 15/13
Like most top players on the men’s ATP tour, Casper has a two-handed backhand topspin groundstroke, which he admits “needs to be more dangerous”. His big weapon is his heavy topspin forehand, his favourite surface is clay. Capser’s style is calm and focused, no histrionics, unlike many of his peers.
I enjoy watching Casper Ruud develop a point on the clay court, the way he gradually out-maneuvers his opponent before unleashing a killer forehand or cunning drop shot. He’s a very consistent player with a strong defensive game, intelligent shot-selection, accurate placement. Both on and off the court he is humble and good-natured.
In the Eurosport podcast Ruud Talk, he describes the smashing of rackets and arguing with umpires as “very disrespectful” and adds “It would be interesting to see tougher punishments” for racket-smashing and other code violations. Casper Ruud at 23 is more mature than many top players on the ATP tour in their 30s.
Breakthrough Year 2021
Casper Ruud’s best matches in 2021 in my opinion were his victory over Diego Schwartzman in the final of Indian Wells on the hard court, and his second ATP title at Geneva where he beat Denis Shapovalov in the final. He admitted that he found the ball hard to control in the dry conditions of Indian Wells, but found a way to win. “Losers find excuses and winners find a way,” is Casper’s favorite quote, handed down from his father who in turn received this pearl of wisdom from the legendary tennis coach Rick Macci.
Casper Ruud’s Prospects in 2022
In February, Casper won the Argentina Open in Buenos Aires against Diego Schwartzman, adding another ATP title to his collection. I think he is a strong contender to advance deep into the French Open and Wimbledon, but lacks the killer weapon on the backhand side that he will need to win a Grand Slam.
(Dominic Londesborough is a personal trainer in London, an online nutrition coach, and a keen tennis player.)