Casper Ruud’s dad opens up on how Rafael Nadal inspired Norwegian’s tennis journey

Ruud grew up watching and idolizing Nadal.

Christian Ruud said Casper Ruud grew up watching Rafael Nadal and dreaming that one day he would be playing on the biggest tennis courts in the world. Ruud, who has been through to his second Grand Slam final at the US Open, is a nine-time ATP champion and he is set to be ranked among the top-2 players on Monday.

As a kid, Ruud tried himself in several sports – tennis, hockey, golf and soccer. At the age of 12, Ruud showed more desire for tennis and the rest is history. “He has something special in a way, and from that point I was, more into it.

I didn’t feel like we were pushing him. He was already starting to look at Rafa [Nadal] and that was his idol, so he really was into the tennis world and he wanted to be on that center court one day,” Christian said, per Tennis Now.

Ruud has a chance to reach the top spot

On Sunday, Ruud will be taking on third-seeded Carlos Alcaraz in the US Open final. The winner of that match will become a Grand Slam champion and also the new top-ranked player in the world.

Ruud, who will be the second-ranked player in the world if he loses the US Open final, has never been ranked higher than No. 5. “But of course it’s nice that it’s possible, and Casper has a little bit of motivation, because even when he was small, his ultimate goal was to be No.1 in the world.

Yeah, the chances are still there, so we are happy about that and we just have to play one match at a time,” Christian added. Going into the match, Ruud has never beaten Alcaraz, having lost his previous two meetings versus the Spaniard. Previously, Ruud lost to Alcaraz in 2021 Marbella and this year’s Miami Masters final, respectively.

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