Casper Ruud – exclusively Norway’s tennis star: “I’m not saying we should burn the skis”

Norway is not exactly notorious for its best tennis players lately.

Casper Ruud started accepting the trend in 2016, when he became the country’s first junior world no.
Since topping the junior rankings, Casper has followed in his father’s footsteps – and even surpassed him. The 23-year-old has now moved into the top 10 of the world rankings and has won six ATP titles, five of them in 2021.

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In the latest edition of Players’ vote on the current number eight in the world reflects his significant 2021 and the hard lessons he learned in the Grand Slams. He also expresses a wish for his homeland.

By Casper Ruud

Hello dear tennis friends,

When I started my season in Australia last year, I had no idea I would be able to win five tournaments. You always aim to win a tournament, but it is a very difficult task. Usually 32 or 64 players start – and there can only be one winner.

Last year, I happened to be the winner five times. It’s a great feeling, of course, and even though it’s a little surreal, it’s given me the confidence to know I’m capable of winning more tournaments every time I start a new season. That’s a big motivation for me.

With his victory in Kitzbühel in July 2021, Casper Ruud became the first player since Andy Murray in October 2011 to win three tournaments in a row

Photo Credit: Getty Images

If I had the opportunity to swap the five titles for a Grand Slam title, I would do it right away. Of course, the Grand Slams are the biggest thing we have in this sport – all players dream of that. I still remember the first time I qualified for a main draw at the Australian Open 2018. It was a very special feeling.

In 2021, I was not able to do as well as I had hoped in the Grand Slams. The start in Melbourne was good, it was here that I reached the round of 16 for the first time. But overall, the Grand Slam season was a disappointment to me. In Roland Garros, I played against Alejandro Fokina in the third round and lost 5: 7 in the fifth set. An insane roller coaster fight where I had my chances but could not take them. It was a very hard loss because I had a great track season and the French Open was a big goal.

I had a very similar match against Jordan Thompson at Wimbledon, where I also lost in five sets. It is bitter defeat, but it motivates you at the same time in the years to come. When you have a chance to get revenge on these players, you remember and think, “Please do not let this happen again!”

I hope to be able to win these big tournaments one day. It feels like I’m still far from it right now … But of course I will do everything I can to keep winning a Grand Slam tournament. I think I have the best chances in Paris – Roland Garros will always be one of the biggest tournaments of the season for me.

I am already looking forward to 2024. It will be a special year because the Olympic Games give you two chances to win in Paris in one year. I will be 25 by then and I hope to be able to play at the highest level of my career by that time.

That would mean I get a better player every year and I am very grateful for the support from my family. My dad is my coach and my whole family is very involved in my tennis. Anything that can happen off the field, they try to take over so I can focus on my game.

My father has always helped me on my sporting path and we have a really good relationship – both as father and son, as well as coach and player. He played a big part in getting me this far. It was important for me to have someone with experience on the trip. My father was himself a professional tennis player.

Casper Ruud (left) at the Australian Open 2021, Christian Ruud at the Australian Open 1999

Photo Credit: Getty Images

As I grew in strength and fitness to the player I wanted to be, he made me realize that every workout is important. You have to play many hours a day and hit a lot of tennis balls to become a good player, and I think that matured very early.

As a family, we enjoy promoting Norway in the tennis world. I carry the Norwegian flag with pride and always play for my country. Even though I play on the ATP Tour, I have Norway next to my name and I always enjoy playing in the ATP Cup and Davis Cup.

I would like tennis to become more popular in Norway. I’m not saying we should burn the skis, but maybe some young, athletic kids can pick a racket and take their talent to the tennis court. Maybe they can play tennis in the summer and ski in the winter.

It would be really fun to see more Norwegian children play. Interest in tennis has increased in Norway in recent years, and more and more TV stations are showing my matches. It’s nice to know that people at home follow me and I hope I can make them proud!

Many greetings,

Your Casper

Follow Casper Ruud on Instagram (@casperruud) and on Twitter (



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