Only the giants Novak Djokovic (35) and Rafael Nadal (36) are higher seeded than Casper Ruud (23) before the venerable Wimbledon, without the Norwegian being stressed by it.
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A new Grand Slam chapter for Ruud starts on Monday. The last time he was in action during one of the four major tennis tournaments, he went all the way to the final of the French Open.
Then he was “only” seeded as number eight before the tournament started, but even though he is ranked five places higher before the Wimbledon opening, the Norwegian star tones down expectations.
– I do not put so much pressure on myself because of it. It is most fun that you have gotten so high on the seeding of a Grand Slam, says Casper Ruud to VG.
– I want to do well at Wimbledon, but I do not have extremely high expectations of myself and will not cry if it goes well. I enter the tournament with low shoulders.
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– The feeling is quite relaxed and decent. It is one of the biggest tournaments we have. Of the Grand Slam tournaments, many choose Wimbledon. The tournament has a great history, and you get a special feeling when you are there. I have played there a few times and understand how big it is, says Ruud.
The main reason why he does not expect as much success at Wimbledon as at the French Open, is the surface the tournament is played on.
Where the French Open was played on gravel – Ruud’s specialty – grass is the basis of Wimbledon.
Ruud has only played six matches at ATP level on grass. The result is two wins and four losses. In fact, the 23-year-old has never won a single-format match at Wimbledon.
This is how the experts explain the Ruud bang: – He will probably never become a specialist in grass
– Can you explain the challenges of playing on grass?
– It is something else entirely. The movement pattern is first and foremost what is most different. It can be very slippery and you can slip, which is the most challenging and disgusting thing. You can get major and serious injuries – a twist in the knee or hip. It could be uncomfortable at first, but it gets better the more time you have to challenge yourself, says Ruud and continues:
– The ball does not take so roof in the substrate before firing. It is not as friction as it is on gravel and hardcourt.
Ruud has played one tournament on grass earlier this season. It was at the Queen’s Club in London a couple of weeks ago, and then he smoked in the first round against Ryan Peniston:
In Monday’s opening round, Ruud meets the 34-year-old Spaniard Albert Ramos-Viñolas. The match is expected to start around 12:00.
They have met four times before – all on gravel. Ramos-Viñolas won the first three matches, before Ruud cracked the Spaniard when they last met in 2020.
– It will be exciting on grass and. We’ll see who handles it best. He has obviously played the most at Wimbledon, but we both prefer gravel enough. Both probably think it was a perfectly straight draw, says Ruud and says that he and Ramos-Viñolas are good friends off the field.