‘Overachiever’ Ruud sees great opportunity in Australia | TBEN | Tennis


Casper Ruud performed, by his own estimation, during the 2022 TBEN season. Following his defeat to Novak Djokovic in Sunday’s Nitto ATP Finals title match, the 23-year-old Norwegian will end the year ranked No. 3 in the world in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings.

His lofty position is the reward for three tour-level titles this season and four more finals at some of the biggest events on the calendar: Turin, the US Open, Roland Garros and Miami.

“In the end it was disappointing to lose these grand finals”, Ruud looked back on the past 11 months. “In general, if you made me an offer to finish the year at number 3, play the finals that I’ve played, on January 1 of this year, I would probably sign the contract right away. No doubt about it. “


Asked again about his record this year in finals, he later added: “It gives me motivation and an appetite for maybe next time, if I ever make it to a final like this again… I hope I can learn from what I been doing this for years and not been able to do and see how it goes. I just feel like there’s still room for improvement, even though I’m really happy with my game and how it’s gone this year.”

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Ruud was especially surprised by his run this week in Turin, the indoor floor was not favorable for his looping ground hits.

“This result is perhaps one of the most surprising to me, finishing the year here on a lightning fast indoor hard court, making the final – not something I thought very likely,” he said after his 7-5, 6-3 loss. to Djokovic. “Maybe I didn’t either, in the US Open, [expect] to get to the final.

“I’ve performed more compared to my own mind, so I’m very happy about that.”

By surpassing his goals this season – which initially included reaching his first Grand Slam quarterfinal – Ruud has raised the bar for 2023. He is already looking forward to his next big chance at the Australian Open, where he has no Pepperstone ATP Rankings points to defend.

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“This year I didn’t even get to play the Australian Open, so it’s a big chance for me to take revenge there and hopefully get a good result,” said Ruud, who ends the year 1,000 points behind the No. 1 of the world. 1. Carlos Alcaraz. “I’m looking forward to going to Australia and starting a new season. I’m looking forward to playing best-of-five sets again. I think before the Australian Open I can say that I’m already hungry for a good result and let’s see how next year plays out.

“There will be a lot of points and results that I have to defend [after Australia]. I hope I can do that and achieve even more. It won’t be easy, because this year I did very well in certain tournaments, but I will do my best.”

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Ruud finished his 2022 TBEN season with a tour-level record of 51-22, his second year in a row with 50+ wins. His many deep tournament runs have seen his match count rise above 70 over the past two years, but Ruud is looking forward to another marathon season, with injury prevention one of his main goals.

“I’ll probably be more focused on myself from next year. That’s something I’ll just try to deal with and see how it goes,” he said.

“I’m just going to focus on the games I play, take it from there. When you start in Australia you know you’re probably going to play tens of thousands of points in the year, hopefully when you get a good one, almost 80 or 90 games It’s just one of many [tournaments].

“It’s like the start of a marathon and you’re motivated for it.”