Casper Ruud has been backed to climb to the top of the ATP Rankings in the future with the world renowned coach Toni Nadal saying his ability to learn and improve has turned him into “a very good player”.
The Norwegian is enjoying his best season on the Tour as he reached his maiden Grand Slam final at Roland Garros, finishing runner-up to Rafael Nadal. He was also second-best at the US Open after losing to Carlos Alcaraz with the young Spaniard piping him to the world No 1 ranking on the back of that victory.
Having also won three ATP 250 events, Ruud qualified for the ATP Finals for the first time and he 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 semi-final in Turin, will finish the year at 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 younger days 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 told Eurosport.
“Now his backhand is good. Back then, I said he needed to change a little. Now watch what has happened with Casper.
“Every year, he has improved a little. I remember, when he came to the academy, he never thought that he could be No 2 in the world.
“Now, I have seen many of his matches and he is a very good tennis player. He can be No 1.”
The Norwegian’s rise has not been rapid as he has taken the steady approach. He started 2020 outside the top 50, but finished 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 capacity. Normally he makes things very easy, very simple and not complicated.
“With calmness, he hits the ball very well. When you are alone and on the Tour, you have to improve and try to learn.”
READ MORE: Casper Ruud: Biography, Lifestyle, Lovelife, Net Worth, Career, Endorsements
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