French Open: Ruud hails 'perfect' victory after reaching first grand slam singles quarter-final

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Casper Ruud described his French Open win over Hubert Hurkacz as the "perfect" way to tee up his first grand slam quarter-final appearance, as the eighth seed looks to extend the best major run of his career.

Ruud downed Hurkacz 6-2 6-3 3-6 6-3 in 2 hours and 31 minutes on Monday to make the last-eight of the singles draw at a grand slam for the first time in his career, bettering his run to the fourth round at the Australian Open last year.

The Norwegian will face talented teenager Holger Rune for a spot in the semi-finals after the 19-year-old became the first Danish man to reach a grand slam quarter-final in the Open era by eliminating Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Speaking at his post-match news conference, Ruud said the win featured some of his best tennis this year.

"I feel good, of course. It's a good result. To make my first quarter-final here in Roland Garros means a lot. It's the first grand slam that I visited as a kid," he said.

"It's nice to get one of my best results of my career so far here. I hope I can continue the level of my tennis and [keep] the streak going.

"Today I think I played some of my best tennis this year for the first two sets. [In the] fourth set as well, I played well when I had to come back.

"I think that's a perfect way to go into a quarter-final for me. Hopefully I can reach a step or two or three more."

After recording his career-best major performance, Ruud – who lost his first ATP 1000 final to Carlos Alcaraz at the Miami Open in April – was keen to go further, saying he will only allow himself to look back upon the milestone at the end of his campaign.

"Well, I mean, of course, it's a new milestone. [But] when I'm playing the tournament, playing the match, I don't really think too much about it," he added.

"Of course, when I'm done with this or when this tournament is over for me, I will look back and think that I did a good job and did a good result and made my best result in a grand slam.

"It is going to change, of course, the way I think I look at the grand slams in the future, when you know you have reached a quarter-final one time. It has been a big goal for me this year, and to reach it is a good feeling.

"But of course, when you reach a goal, you make new goals. That's usually how it goes. My new goal will be in a few days' time to try to reach the semi-final."

With many of the game's biggest names, including Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz all landing on the opposite side of the draw to Ruud, the 23-year-old may not get too many better chances to enjoy a deep grand slam run.

And the Norwegian suggested pundits may have placed too much focus on a few big names in the build-up to Roland Garros, adding: "Before the tournament, there was, of course, already a lot of talk who the favourite was.

"I think everyone was talking about the top half of the draw with Nadal, Djokovic and Alcaraz of course there, [but] there are many other good players in the tournament."

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