World No 3 Casper Ruud says that he would accept the season he has had gratefully if it had been offered to him back in January.
Ruud admits that he would have liked to have won at least one of the three huge finals he played in this year but feels he has overachieved nonetheless.
After losing to Novak Djokovic in the ATP Tour Finals in Turin, Ruud reflected on a big term at the top level.
“In the end it’s been disappointing to end up losing these big finals,” he said after losing the final of the ATP Finals to Novak Djokovic.
“Overall, if you gave me an offer to end the year at No. 3, play the finals that I’ve played, at the 1st of January this year, I would probably sign the contract right away. No doubt about it.
“It gives me motivation and a hunger to maybe next time, if I ever get to another final like this.
“I hope I can learn from what I have done this year and not been able to do and see how it goes.
He added: “I just feel like I still have room for improvements, even though I’m very happy with my game and how things have turned out this year.”
Ruud has been surprised with how well he has been able to keep up on the faster hard courts given much of his previous succes came on clay.
“This [ATP Finals] result to me is maybe one of the most surprising, finishing the year here on a blistering fast indoor hard court, making the final – not something that I found very likely,” he said.
“Maybe neither did I, in the US Open, [expect] to make the final.
“I’ve overachieved compared to my own mind, so I’m very happy about that.”
Ruud is eager to hit the court again in 2023 after he missed the first Grand Slam of the 2022 term through injury.
“It’s a big chance for me to get some sort of revenge down there and hopefully have a good result,” said Ruud.
“I look forward to going to Australia and starting a new season. I look forward to playing best-of-five sets again. I think for the Australian Open I can say I’m already hungry to have a good result and let’s see how next year plays out.
“There will be a lot of points and results for me to defend [after Australia]. I hope I can do that and achieve even more. That’s not going to be easy because this year I’ve done very well in certain tournaments, but I will try my best.
“I’m probably going to have more eyes on me from next year on. That’s something I’m going to just try to deal with and see how it goes.
“I’m just going to focus on the matches that I play, take it from there. When you’re starting in Australia, you know you probably going to play tens of thousands of points in the year, hopefully if you have a good one, close to 80 or 90 matches. It’s just one of many [tournaments].
“It’s like the start of a marathon and you are motivated for it.”
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