An old school Norwegian


Casper Ruud does not respond to the canons of modern tennis, he follows in the footsteps of mythical Nordics like Borg, Wilander and Edberg, also fights as Alcaraz for his first great and world government

The emergence of young people of enormous talent and physically polished to the most hidden muscles, such as Carlos Alcaraz or the Italian Janick Sinner, has been a breath of fresh air for a sport that could languish in the near future due to the decline of Roger Federer , Novak Djokovic and Rafa Nadal, still very strong in the case, especially of the Serb and Balearic Islands, who could have left New York perfectly as number one in the world.

The man from Manacor was stopped first by the American Frances Tiafoe and then by the colossal protagonists of the very last Sunday in Flushing Meadows. Alcaraz, very worn out after battles in the quarter-finals and semi-finals for history, will play his first big game against an enemy more responsive to the stereotypes of classic tennis than to modern.

Casper Ruud (1.83 tall and 73 kilos in weight) is an old school Nordic, with a classic profile, far from the media noise, from the big headlines, from that endless number of videos and images that flood social networks for mass consumption of the youngest. An efficient man, seemingly calm, who has almost found his way against the tide in this dizzying tennis.

Norwegian, 23 years old, Alcaraz’s last obstacle to glory carries the racket world in his veins. He is the son of Christian Ruud, a sober but more limited tennis player who became number 39 in the world in the 1990s and is now training him. Casper, who was defeated in three sets by Rafa Nadal in the final Roland Garros final, is almost a new rookie like Alcaraz who could be number one on the track with only one Grand Slam in his showcase. To date, he is the winner of nine ATP titles, none bigger than an ATP 500, the third category in awards, and eight of them on clay.

His growth this year has been exponential, with that final in Paris and the defeat precisely against Alcaraz at the top of the Masters 1,000 in Miami being the most creditable achievements. He also won in Buenos Aires, Geneva and Gstaad, always on clay. He has had 44 victories this year, as many as Britain’s Cameron Norrie and only surpassed by the 50 of Alcaraz and the Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas. Until this year, however, his best Grand Slam result was the fourth round at the 2019 Australian Open. In the other precedent with the Murcian, the Viking also fell in Marbella.

Raised in the heat of the Balearic Islands at the Rafa Nadal academy in Manacor, the pragmatic Ruud loves Spain and its traditions but claims the old tennis tradition. He is only one step away from appearing in the books as the fourth Nordic tennis player to reach the top, after that trio of insurmountable Swedes consisting of Björn Borg, Mats Wilander and Stefan Edberg. Big words.

At the moment, Ruud has that final against Nadal in Paris very present. A lesson in tennis, humility and life. “I hit well against Rafa,” he remembers sincerely. “But now I know what I’m up against and I’m better prepared because I know how to play five sets. That experience has helped me to learn. I have a lot of confidence and significantly improved my performance on hard court. I have the respect earned from others”, Ruud adds. The battle to reach the New York sky and the world top has been served.

Source: La Verdad


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