Casper Ruud has been backed to rise to the top of the ATP Rankings in the future with world-renowned coach Toni Nadal saying his ability to learn and improve has made him “a very good player.”
The Norwegian is enjoying his best season on Tour as he reached his first Grand Slam final at Roland Garros, finishing second behind Rafael Nadal. He was also the second best at the US Open after losing to Carlos Alcaraz and the young Spaniard pushed him up to the world number 1 ranking thanks to that victory.
Having also won three ATP 250 events, Ruud qualified for the ATP Finals for the first time and finds himself in the semi-final after winning two of his three round-robin matches.
The 23-year-old, who will face either Andrey Rublev or Stefanos Tsitsipas in the Turin semi-final, will end the year No. 2 if he wins the season-ending tournament.
Nadal, the uncle and former coach of 22-time Grand Slam winner Rafael, has spent a lot of time with Ruud during his youth, as the Norwegian was part of the Rafa Nadal Academy in Mallorca.
The veteran coach is impressed with Ruud’s calmness and his hunger to constantly learn and improve his game.
“Casper Ruud, I remember when he came to the academy, he had a bad backhand because, in my opinion, he made bad movements with his legs,” he said. eurosport.
“Now his backhand is good. Back then, I said that I needed to change a bit. Now look what happened with Casper.
“Every year it has gotten a little better. I remember, when he came to the academy, he never thought that he could be number 2 in the world.
“Now, I have seen many of his matches and he is a very good tennis player. He can be number 1.”
The Norwegian’s rise has not been quick, as he has taken a steady approach. He started 2020 outside the top 50 but ended the year inside the top 30, while last year he moved inside the top 10.
He added: “The most important thing in tennis and in life is to improve.
“Casper has this ability. He usually makes things very easy, very simple and not at all complicated.
“Calmly, he hits the ball very well. When you are alone and on the Tour, you have to improve and try to learn.”
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