Christian Ruud On Son Casper: 'I'm Very Happy He Has Beaten All My Records'
There have been many cases over the years of professional tennis talent running in the family. The Ruud family may just be one of the most successful cases, as father, Christian Ruud, and son, Casper Ruud, are the two greatest players in the history of Norwegian tennis.
Casper, who on Tuesday advanced to the third round at Roland Garros, has established himself as one of the best clay-court players in the world, and is viewed by many, including his father, to be a threat at this Grand Slam for years to come.
“He has the game for it, he has the weapons and he has a good clay-court game,” Christian told Chris Bowers for ATP Tennis Radio. “I think there are a lot of good players coming behind [Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic], and I think Casper is one of them, especially on the clay.”
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Christian Ruud has a dual role as his son’s father and coach. He also doesn’t seem to mind that Casper has eclipsed many of his own achievements from when he was a player. Christian reached a career-high No. 39 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, while his son is now at a career-best World No. 16.
“Casper is quite easy to coach I would say. I think that inside he has a big drive and he shows that every day when he goes to practice,” Christian said. “My goal is for him to become as good as possible so in that sense I am very happy that he has beaten all of my records now.”
Casper has thrived on clay the most during the early stages of his career. He possesses a 17-4 record on the surface so far in 2021, winning a title in Geneva (d. Shapovalov) and making semi-final appearances in two clay-court ATP 1000 Masters events this year, in Monte-Carlo and Madrid.
The 22-year-old’s level on the clay has put him in 10th place in the FedEx ATP Race To Turin. With a successful campaign in Paris, the Norwegian could climb even higher into contention for a spot at the Nitto ATP Finals.
While Ruud has reached the third round at Roland Garros in 2019 and 2020, he carries more momentum into this major than ever before. His father believes that winning the tournament this year is not such a far-fetched notion.
“I think that bigger surprises have happened before,” Christian said. “I think we have to respect guys that have won here many times before like Rafa, and [other stars like] Djokovic, but I think certainly (that) Casper is in the mix of contenders a little bit this year.”
According to Christian, Casper has big aspirations, and his results this year have backed up that self-belief.
“I think he believes that he can become a Top 10 player and I think he dreams about being No. 1 and winning a Grand Slam,” Christian said. “He’s playing well at the moment and feels like he belongs, especially among the clay-courters in that ranking. We had a good start of the year and we’re really happy with the position he’s in, so I think he’s optimistic about the rest of the year and the future.”