Ruud: 'I Am Proud Of The Year'
Following his loss to Daniil Medvedev in the semi-finals at the Nitto ATP Finals, Casper Ruud was in a reflective mood on Saturday as he looked back fondly on his breakthrough season and the experience he has gained in Turin.
The 22-year-old won five tour-level titles and became the first Norwegian to crack the Top 10 in the FedEx ATP Rankings in 2021.
“It has been a great year for me and my development as a tennis player,” Rudd said. “Getting to know my opponents more and playing this tournament has been a great experience. To finish a very good year off here in Turin has been a great experience for me and something I will be eager to try and repeat and be back here next year.”
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Ruud was making his debut at the season finale and went 2-1 in Green Group action as he advanced to the semi-finals. It is a tournament the World No. 8 feels will be crucial for his development as he aims to return to the Pala Alpitour next year.
“I got the perfect feedback on what I have to work on in my game to compete with the top guys in the world for next year,” Rudd said. “I played the World No. 1 and No. 2 this week and they beat me fairly comfortably, so that makes me want to seek revenge and become a better player next year.
“When next year starts, I will have it in the back of my mind. Every week and every match matters. It was only a couple of matches that made the difference of qualifying for the tournament. I am proud of the year and am looking forward to next year. If I can keep playing well, I can have another year like this year.”
A large part of Ruud’s success has been down to his differing fortunes on hard courts, with the 22-year-old capturing his first tour-level title on the surface in San Diego in October. Prior to this year, Ruud held a 16-27 tour-level record on hard. But he went 25-10 this season on the surface.
On his improvement, Ruud said: “I have brought a lot of match confidence playing big on big points and winning the right points in many matches. Many of the matches I have played this year have been decided by only two or three points. The majority of all of my wins have been decided by only a few points, but that is something you build up when you play a lot of matches.“It is easy to doubt yourself in the toughest moments, but this year has been great for me when it has come down to this as I have played aggressively and well on the biggest points.”