2022 French Open: Who is Norway's Casper Ruud?
Norway's Casper Ruud is set to take on Spanish maestro Rafael Nadal in the final of the 2022 French Open. The former qualified for his first Grand Slam final after beating Marin Cilic in the penultimate clash (3-6, 6-4, 6-2, 6-2). Earlier, Ruud became the first Norwegian to reach a Grand Slam quarter-final. The 23-year-old aims to deny Nadal a record-extending 22nd major title.
Ruud has a win-loss record of 149-79 on the ATP Tour. The tally includes just 20 victories at Grand Slams. Ruud has clinched eight ATP titles so far, the last of which he claimed in Geneva this year. Interestingly, he won seven of these titles on clay courts. In 2020, Ruud became the first Norwegian to win an ATP title.
Ruud has registered a win-loss record of 30-9 in 2022. In May, he won the Geneva Open after beating Joao Sousa in the final. Earlier, Ruud reached the semi-finals of the Rome Masters (lost to Novak Djokovic). The former finished as the runner-up at Miami Masters (defeated Alexander Zverev in the quarter-finals). Ruud started 2022 with a title in Buenos Aires.
Ruud has the third-most wins on clay in 2022 (15-5). He is only behind Diego Schwartzman (17-7), Carlos Alcaraz (16-1), and Sebastian Baez (16-8) on the list. Both of Ruud's titles this year have come on clay courts. Interestingly, Ruud has won the most number of matches on clay since 2020 (65). He has also won most titles on this surface in this period.
Ruud had a dream run last year, having won as many as five titles (San Diego, Kitzbuhel, Gstaad, Bastad, and Geneva). After his win in Kitzbuhel , Ruud became the first player since Andy Murray (October 2011) to claim three titles in as many weeks. By the year's end, he became the first Norwegian to earn a spot in the ATP Final.
Following the victory in the 2022 French Open semi-finals, Ruud surpassed Carlos Alcaraz to number six in the ATP Rankings. Ruud, who entered the tournament at number eight, could reach a career-best spot (fourth) in the ATP Rankings.
Before the ongoing Roland Garros, Ruud had not qualified for a quarter-final at a Grand Slam. His best result (majors) came at the 2021 Australian Open when he reached the fourth round. The French Open is the first major where Ruud has claimed 10 match-wins. Ruud will now face Spanish ace Rafael Nadal, who is vying to win his 14th Roland Garros title.
It is to note that Ruud has been training at the academy of Rafael Nadal in Mallorca since September 2018. This will be his first-ever ATP head-to-head encounter with the 21-time Grand Slam champion.