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Casper Ruud will lead Norway at next month's ATP Cup.

Ruuds Ready To Further Bolster Norway's Global Tennis Standing

Casper Ruud will lead Norway at the inaugural team event

The Ruud family has been putting Norwegian tennis on the global map for the past 30 years, and they'll have their biggest opportunity yet next month at the inaugural ATP Cup, to be held 3-12 January in Brisbane, Perth and Sydney.

Casper Ruud, No. 54 in the ATP Rankings, will lead the team, and his father/coach Christian Ruud, who reached No. 39 in the ATP Rankings before retiring in 2001, will captain the team, which will face Russia, Italy and the U.S. in Group D in Perth.

The Ruuds, who will be joined by Norwegian players Viktor Durasovic, Lukas Hellum Lilleengen, Leyton Rivera and Herman Hoeyeraal, spoke to ATPTour.com about competing at next month's ATP Cup, what it's like to be a travelling father-son duo on the ATP Tour and how they've brought recognition to tennis in Norway.

Casper Ruud
On being from Norway
“It’s a little bit tough sometimes to be from a small tennis country like Norway because you don’t have too many people to practise with when you’re home and that kind of stuff. I think many people many times don’t quite understand where I’m from, because Norway is not a typical tennis country and they’re maybe thinking, 'Norway, where is that?'

“But if I had to choose things, I would like them to think that I of course play well, and I’m a nice guy, likable. That’s my goal and why I try to stay humble all the time and try to work hard and hopefully the results will come and as the results come, more fans will eventually come.”

On growing tennis in Norway
“I’m trying, definitely. It’s one of my goals, to try to make Norway a bigger tennis country. We’ve been talking a little bit if I have a big career, we can maybe try to bring an ATP event to Norway. That would be a huge goal for me in my career, to try to do that. In Sweden, they have two events. That would be nice for Norway and Norwegian tennis.”

On being a part of the #NextGenATP, competing at the 2019 Next Gen ATP Finals
“I’m not going to say that I feel old, but there are younger players that are doing better than me. It’s something to perhaps gain motivation from.

“I’m a couple of steps behind them now, but I’ve built a good base this year and will hopefully be ready for an even better season next year.”

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On having his father as a coach
“I know that he cares about me and he wants everything in the best way for me. So, of course, he's been a really big part of my success and my team, ever since I was little.

“I'm from a small tennis country, and I don't have too many people to look up to in my home country, except for him. He's the only one who knows how it's been and how the life on the Tour is. I think it's been a huge advantage, even though I'm from Norway, to have my father so close to me and helping me with my tennis.”

How his dad especially helped him when he was a teenager
“He’s always been there for me and tried to guide me... When you’re 13 or 14, it’s easy to think about other things or want to go out to parties. My dad was strict with me in those ways because he knew you have to be serious from a young age if you want to be a professional tennis player. There were some sacrifices, but it’s paid off.”

Christian Ruud
n Casper choosing tennis
“He was the one that decided at age 11, 'OK, this is what I want to do. I'm more into individual sports than team sports.' Since then it's just been about the tennis.”

On separating the father-coach roles
Maybe when he’s younger [it was harder], but now he’s a grown-up. I feel more like a coach and also a friend now because we travel and go out to dinners together. It’s not like I’m babysitting him.

“We have a good relationship. He respects that I was a player on Tour and respects me as a coach. He was the one [who] wanted me to be his coach when his other coach quit 18 months ago. I’m just trying to help him be a good player and a good person.”

On his son's 2019 season
“I think his lowest level has come up a lot. He’s been playing a lot better at ATP events and winning a lot more matches and also beating decent players when he’s not been playing his best, so I think his high level has increased as well as his low level.”

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