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Ruud about his nerves: – I saw everyone as better than me

We turn back the clock to 10 September 2021. Casper Ruud had already quit the US Open in the second round of the tournament.

It was a crisis for the Norwegian, who with a good result, and with fluency in the opponents’ matches, could become the top ten in the world rankings for the first time.

The then 22-year-old boy from Snarøya had to bite his nails for a long time. In fact, right up until the semi-finals. Daniil Medvedev and Felix Auger-Aliassime met there. If the latter won the semi-final, Ruud’s top ten dream would end. And that right before the Laver Cup. The Russian won and the dream came true.

– It was a big moment and I still remember how I saw the match between Medvedev and Auger-Aliassime. I was so nervous, but then it was a relief to officially manage to be in the top ten in the world, says Ruud to TV 2 in London.

Felt the others were better than him

Here he is to play his second Laver Cup in his career. Last time was in Boston last year. Coming into the team as a top ten player provided welcome confidence.

STAR PACKED: This year, Casper Ruud is on the team with, among others, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. The team is led by tennis legend Björn Borg. Photo: Kin Cheung

In fact, the entire team at the time consisted of players who were ranked number ten or better. Daniil Medvedev (No. 2 in the world), Stefanos Tsitsipas (3), Alexander Zverev (4), Andrej Rublyov (5) and Matteo Berrettini (7) made up the team along with Ruud (10).

– I saw everyone as better than me, and everyone had done bigger things on the tennis court than me then, says Ruud about the experience of being selected.

Not only that. The Norwegian was picked to play the first match of the tournament by captain Björn Borg. That against right-wing Reilly Opelka from Team World. The tennis ace from Snarøya felt he had to prove something, and he did so to that extent. It was a win in straight sets and a great start to the tournament which eventually ended with a convincing 14-1 victory for Team Europe.

Two hours before the final in the US Open this year, Caroline and Charlotte Ruud were on a TV 2 broadcast live from New York. The sisters of the world runner-up were then nervous before the final, which ended in a loss to Carlos Alcaraz, but were still clear that their brother had gained more confidence after having participated in the Laver Cup in 2021.

– He probably said that after the Laver Cup where he won a match, many of the nerves have calmed down a bit. He has become a little more confident in himself. He puts on the headband and then he’s in the game. It’s fun to watch, but I’m sure he can feel his nerves, the Ruud sisters told TV 2 before the US Open final.

Gains new trust from Björn Borg

Now he will again be first in the fire when it is held this time in the O2 Arena in London.

– I probably didn’t expect to be ranked so much higher than number ten in the ranking this time either. There are many good players here, but to be here as number two in the world is very special. It has done something to the belief that I can perform at this level and that you belong here.

THE WORLD MASTER AND THE IDOLET: Casper Ruud and Rafael Nadal in the press zone after the press conference in London on Thursday 22 September. Photo: Morten Asbjørnsen/TV 2.

– What do you think about going out first again this year?

– It is nice that he (Björn Borg journ.anm.) shows confidence that I will open the ball again. It will be exciting and you are a little extra nervous when you open it at home. But now I know a little more about what’s to come and I expect a full house and backing from the audience. I am looking forward very much.

The article is in Norwegian

Tags: Ruud nerves

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