“Perfect Example”: Casper Ruud Wishes to Replicate Rafael Nadal’s Versatility on the Tour

Published 10/01/2021, 12:17 PM EDT
WASHINGTON, DC – AUGUST 1: Rafael Nadal (ESP) speaks with press on Media Day ahead of the 2021 Citi Open at Rock Creek Park Tennis Center on August 1, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mike Lawrence/ISI Photos/Getty Images)


Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal has been one of the true ambassadors of tennis. He has been on the Tour for close to two decades and his contribution has been immense. Known for his never-say-die attitude, the Spaniard has 20 Grand Slam titles to his name. 

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Recently, Rafael Nadal was praised by Casper Ruud. After winning three titles on clay this season, Casper has been termed a clay-court specialist. Like we all know, the Spaniard has been the master of the clay. There has never been a player as dominant as him on clay, highlighted by his 13 Roland Garros titles. 

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The 22-year-old player spoke on this topic and stated, “Many events this year, in the past year, have really helped me on my self-belief. Maybe this is where I belong, I can challenge the big players. I think winning those three tournaments back to back was something special and something that raises your confidence and belief in yourself definitely. I don’t mind being a clay court player.”

Rafael Nadal is the ideal example for Casper Ruud

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Ruud doesn’t mind being termed a clay-court specialist and gave the example of Rafa. The 13-time French Open champion has won titles on the hardcourts as well as the grass. He has won the Wimbledon Championships twice and has won five Majors on the hardcourts. 

Sep 26, 2021; Boston, MA, USA; Team Europe with the Laver Cup. Standing: Thomas Enqvist, Alexander Zverev, Daniil Medvedev, Casper Ruud. Front row: Feliciano Lopez, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Andrey Rublev, Matteo Berrettini at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Richard Cashin-USA TODAY Sports

The World No. 10 player added, “Nadal is the perfect example. It’s possible for, you know, the heavy topspin players to play well on the surface and he’s the type of player that I looked up to for many years and will try to learn from when it comes to this transition from clay court to hard court. The motivation is to keep going, is even higher than before.”

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In the last month, Nadal called an end to his season due to an injury he has been struggling with since Roland Garros. On other hand, Ruud is competing in the San Diego Open 2021. He is in the quarterfinals and it will be interesting to see how far he goes into the event. 

Watch this story: Top Seeds Naomi Osaka, John Isner, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Andrey Rublev and Others Who Faced Huge Upsets at US Open

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Rohan Kollare

1183 articles

Rohan Kollare is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. Rohan has a post-graduate diploma in Sports Management and a trophy cabinet adorned with accolades won in district and state-level tennis competitions. He has previously worked in Content Operations for Disney’s Hotstar for over a year, covering tennis and Formula One.

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