At Roland-Garros, Casper Ruud no longer wants to play extras

At the New Wave version of the top tennis table, there are players who have had their napkin ring for a long time, such as the Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas and the German Alexander Zverev, those who have already invited themselves to the feast of major events, such as the Russian Andrey Rublev or the Canadian Felix Auger Aliassime. Or the youngest starving, who attracts all eyes on his way, the Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz. And then there’s Casper Ruud.

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Seeded number 8 at Roland-Garros, where he sent Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to retirement on Tuesday May 24, the Norwegian is progressing quietly. Without the attention normally due to his rank. No fuss, on or off the court. The only embryo of controversy that has so far implicated him has not gone beyond the borders of the circuit, and even then… Ruud has been in the crosshairs of Nick Kyrgios, not exactly the definition of an altar boy, since a verbal quarrel distance that started in 2019 at the Rome tournament.

In the middle of a match against the Norwegian, the Australian had taken his clicks and his slaps, furious against an arbitration decision. A reaction ” idiot “ judged his opponent, who immediately caused his disqualification. Resentful, Kyrgios paid Ruud on Twitter a few months later: “Next time you have something to say to me, I’d appreciate it if you said it to my face. (…). In the meantime, I’d rather watch the paint dry than watch you play, you’re boring to death. »

Neither tennis nor the personality of Casper Ruud will probably ever get the crowds going, like a David Ferrer or a Nikolay Davydenko in their time. The Spaniard and the Russian have long been comfortably installed in the Top 10 until they climb to 3e rank, without putting away the slightest Grand Slam title in their trophy cabinet, nor giving the spectators a great thrill. This did not prevent them from making a more than commendable career.

Legitimacy trial

That of Ruud, 23, is still in its infancy. The Scandinavian emerged in the spring of 2021 zealously plowing the European lands, except the most coveted of them. After semi-finals in Monte-Carlo and Madrid, his first in Masters 1000, his defeat against the Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in 16e of the final of Roland-Garros, at the end of a preposterous match (7-6, 2-6, 7-6, 0-6, 7-5), remains “the biggest disappointment” of his young career.

“I didn’t come home crying though, I just tried to learn from it, says the young man with the affable smile, met in Monte-Carlo at the beginning of April. We continued with the grass but I did not want to end my season on clay with this defeat. And I managed to bounce back quickly. »

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