10 Things You Didn’t Know about Casper Ruud

23-year-old Casper Ruud is the top Norwegian tennis player in the world. Ranked second overall by the ATP as of September 12, 2022, Ruud is a bona fide star who is still on the rise seven years after turning pro in 2015. At 6’0”, the blonde Norwegian is the son of former professional tennis player Christian Ruud. Here are 10 things you probably didn’t know about Casper Ruud.

1. His Dad Was Also The Top Norwegian Tennis Player

Born in 1972, Christian Ruud went pro in 1991 at age 18. During the first part of his career, Christian was a rising star, like his son was after him. Unlike his son, Christian Ruud peaked after only four years of his professional tennis career, and began to sink in the rankings after his 1995 peak at number 39 globally.

2. Casper Credits His Father For Teaching Him

Despite his short career as a professional tennis player, Christian Ruud has gone on to a prolific career as a coach and teacher, including being his son’s primary coach from age 11 to age 18. After just a few years with Spanish coach Pedro Rico, Casper returned to his father’s tutelage. He enjoys playing tennis with his father, often calling Christian “the best coach in the world.”

3. Casper Ruud Has Two Sisters

A middle child, Casper Ruud has two sisters, Charlotte and Caroline, and one brother. Charlotte, age 16, is also a tennis player; she competes on the junior international girls’ tennis tour. Caroline remains primarily a private person, though she has an active Instagram account. Brother Birk is a freestyle skier who first appeared on the international scene at the 2016 World Youth Olympics in Lillehammer, taking home gold in slopestyle before winning the first-ever Olympic gold medal in Men’s freestyle skiing big air at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics. Casper, Charlotte, and Birk Ruud are one of sport’s most potent triple-threat families, with all three poised to excel in their chosen sports in the years to come.

3. Casper Excelled At Many Sports, Chose Tennis

Casper’s parents, Christian and Lele, introduced their son to many sports and Christian seemed to excel at anything that involved a ball. He proved adept at soccer, ice hockey, and golf, as well as being gifted in tennis. Casper chose at age 11 to follow his father into tennis and became a junior champion, idolizing Spaniard Rafael Nadal, a six-time ATP year-end champion who as of September 12, 2022 sat one place behind Ruud, twelve years his junior, in the ATP Tour ranking.

4. He Has A Great Relationship With Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal, #3 in the world at present, is not only Casper Ruud’s idol, but also friends with him. Nadal has been one of the world’s top tennis players ever since he went pro as a 15-year-old in 2001, including six stints as the year-end top-ranked player in ATP, and he has invited Ruud to his tennis academy every year since Ruud went pro in 2015. At the end of 2022, Nadal and Ruud plan to tour Latin America, covering Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, and Mexico in November, after the ATP finals. The two last met competitively in the final of the French Open in early June, 2022, when Nadal prevailed over Ruud in three games, taking the French Open championship for the first time since his four-year reign over the event from 2017 to 2020.

5. Casper Is The First Norwegian To Reach A Major Final

2022 was a great year for Casper. Although he had to withdraw from the 2022 Australian Open due to an ankle injury, news that was overshadowed by Novak Djikovic’s COVID vaccination drama, he advanced in all three of the other tournaments. Reaching the French Open’s final, Casper became the first Norwegian to do so. Going three sets with Rafael Nadal, Ruud fell 6-3, 6-3, 6-0 to Nadal after defeating Holger Rune in the quarterfinal and Marin Cilic in the semifinal.

6. He Is Friends With Country Music Star Shania Twain

Shania Twain, one of the world’s most popular country music singers in the 1990s and 2000s, is friends with the young Norwegian star, supporting him at tournaments. Twain was one of the first supporters to congratulate Casper on Instagram following his second-place finish at the French Open. Though Twain seems a bit difficult to impress in her most popular song, Casper Ruud does seem up to the task with her.

7. Casper Ruud Is Not A Fan Of Rival Nick Kyrgios

Casper Ruud, especially in the last several years, has found himself in a contentious personal relationship with 6’4” Australian professional tennis player Nick Kyrgios. Ranked at 13th, his career high, Kyrgios has had a contentious relationship with Ruud, starting with a Kyrgios forfeit loss in 2019. The feud between the two has cooled, however, over the pandemic and while the two are not the best of friends, they at least have shown the ability in recent months to be in the same space without sniping at each other.

8. He Didn’t Know If He Would Reach Another Grand Slam Final

After reaching his first Grand Slam final in May 2022, the first Norwegian man to do so, Casper Ruud admitted he thought he might not be able to make a second before he prevailed over Russian rival Karen Khanchanov in the US Open, winning the match in four sets after he fell short of the finals at Wimbledon. Said Ruud, “After Roland-Garros I had extremely positive feelings and a lot of good things were happening in my life. But at the same time, I was able to think ‘this is a great result, but it might not ever come again.’” Keeping humble and a cool head after his 5-7 defeat in the third set of the match, Ruud rallied back to take the fourth set 6-2 over Khanchanov before congratulating his opponent.

10. Ruud Has Never Defeated Carlos Alcaraz In A Set

Carlos Alcaraz is Casper Ruud’s most potent rival. Ranked #1 in the world, Alcaraz is a very similar player to Ruud. Both are right-handed players with two-handed backhands who are aggressive all-court players who play near the baseline. Both are among the best players on the circuit today. But although Ruud is very similar to Alcaraz, Alcaraz has consistently bested him when the two have met in play. At the 2022 U.S. Open, Ruud won his first game against Alcaraz, winning the second game of their final 6-2 before falling 6-7 in the third and 3-6 in the deciding fourth game.

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