Casper Ruud adds his name to tennis world
Business & Sports Editor
The Norwegian American
The Ruud name in Norwegian sports evokes the legendary ski jumping brothers, Birger, Asbjørn, and Sigmund, as well as the Sigmund Ruud sporting goods/ski-making store he ran for several years in Oslo.
Casper Ruud is changing that but is also carrying a family legacy. His coach is his father, Christian, whose 39th ranking was the previous high for a Norwegian.
When he won the ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) Argentina Open on Feb. 16, 2020, Casper became the first Norwegian to win an ATP tournament and rose to 34th in the world rankings.
After the just completed tennis season, Casper, who turned 23 on Dec. 22, rose from 27th to eighth in the FedEx ATP world rankings. He won five tour-level tournaments, and players nominated Casper for the most improved player and for the Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award. Christian was nominated for Trainer of the Year.
The season finale had Casper participating in the prestigious Nitto ATP championships in Turin, Italy, Nov. 15-21, for the top eight players. In the round-robin, he lost to top-ranked Novak Djokovic of Serbia 6-7 (4), 2-6, defeated 12th-ranked Cameron Norrie (Great Britain) 1-6, 6-3, 6-4, and fifth-ranked Andrey Rublev of Russia 2-6, 7-5, 7-6 (5), to reach the semifinals, where he lost to nemesis second-ranked Daniil Medvedev of Russia 4-6, 2-6.
“It has been a great year for me and my development as a tennis player,” Rudd said to atptour.com. “Getting to know my opponents more and to finish a very good year off here in Turin has been a great experience for me. I will be eager to try to be back here next year.”
He improved his play and record on hard courts, from 16-27 in tour-level matches last year to 25-9.
“He’s improved his first and second serve a ton,” said Brad Gilbert, former No. 4 and former coach of Andre Agassi and Andy Roddick “His forehand is his big weapon. He’s so much more consistent and accurate with his forehand. Those two shots are why he is playing so much better.”
This article originally appeared in the Jan. 7, 2022, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.