Only giants Novak Djokovic (35) and Rafael Nadal (36) were seeded higher than Casper Ruud (23) before Wimbledon, with the Norwegian coach letting himself be put under pressure.
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Monday kicked off a new Grand Slam round for Ruud. The last time he played in any of the four major tennis tournaments, he made it to the final of the French Open.
He was then “only” seeded as number eight before the tournament started, but even though he was ranked five places higher before the Wimbledon opener, the Norwegian star lowered expectations.
– I don’t put too much pressure on myself because of that. “It’s great that you’ve been seeded at a Grand Slam,” Casper Ruud told VG.
– I want to do well at Wimbledon, but I don’t have very high expectations of myself and I won’t cry if things go wrong. I go into tournaments with low shoulders.
- Watch everything from Wimbledon on Discovery+.
– The feeling is quite relaxed and decent. This is one of the biggest tournaments we have had. Of the Grand Slam tournaments, many choose Wimbledon. This tournament has a great history, and you get a special feeling when you are there. “I’ve played there a few times and understand how big it is,” said Ruud.
The main reason why he didn’t expect as much success at Wimbledon as at the French Open was the surface on which the tournament was played.
Where the French Open is played on clay – Ruud’s specialty – grass is the surface at Wimbledon.
Ruud has only played six matches at ATP level on grass. The result was two wins and four losses. In fact, the 23-year-old has never won a singles match at Wimbledon.
This is how the experts explain Ruud’s punch: – He will probably never become a grass specialist
– Can you explain the challenges of playing on the grass?
– This is something else entirely. The movement pattern is the most different. It can be very slippery and you can slip, which is the most challenging and disgusting thing. You can suffer a major and serious injury – a sprained knee or hip. It might be uncomfortable at first, but the better the more time you get to challenge yourself, says Ruud and continues:
– The ball doesn’t pick up like that roof on the substrate before flying. There is no friction like there is on gravel and hard court.
Ruud has played one tournament on grass earlier this season. It was at the Queen’s Club in London a few weeks ago, and then he smoked in the first round against Ryan Peniston:
In Monday’s opening round, Ruud met 34-year-old Spaniard Albert Ramos-Viñolas. The match is expected to start around 12.00.
They had met four times before – all on clay. Ramos-Viñolas won the first three games, before Ruud broke the Spaniard when they last met in 2020.
– It’ll be fun on the grass and we’ll see who can handle it well. He’s obviously played the most at Wimbledon, but we both probably prefer clay. The two probably thought it was a very good draw, said Ruud and explained that he and Ramos-Viñolas are good friends off the pitch.
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