Norwegian tennis had to wait for a player to put the country in the top spots, but it was worth it. Casper Ruud still has an entire career ahead of him, but he already proves to be the best player Norway has produced. Let’s take a look at his story.
Casper Ruud is a Norwegian professional tennis player born on December 22, 1998, in Oslo. Apart from being the highest-ranked Norwegian player ever, Ruud became the first player from his country to win an ATP title.
Born in Oslo, the capital city of Norway, Ruud grew up in Snarøya, district of Bærum. Though he didn’t start playing tennis until he was 4, it’s safe to say that Casper was linked to the sport from the very beginning.
His father Christian was a former professional tennis player, who even held the highest ranking ever by a Norwegian player (No. 39) before his son surpassed him in February 2020. Christian, who turned pro in 1991 and retired ten years later, represented Norway at three Olympic Games in a row.
Eventually, Christian passed the torch to his son, who went on to make history in Norwegian tennis. While he taught him how to play tennis when Casper was just a kid, Christian has also been behind all his achievements as his coach.
Ruud made his junior debut in 2015, paving the way for an exciting career at the world tour. He struggled to succeed at the big stage, reaching the second round of the 2015 Wimbledon Boys’ singles and the third round of the 2015 US Open Boys’ singles, but eventually managed to prove his talent by winning four junior titles.
By January 2016, Ruud was atop the world junior rankings, becoming the first Norwegian to be ranked No. 1 junior player. In his first Futures final appearance, Ruud emerged victorious against Carlos Taberner in Paguera, Spain.
Later that year, Ruud became the fifth youngest player of all time to win an ATP Challenger with his triumph in Seville. As a junior, Ruud also did great in doubles, reaching the semifinals of the French Open and Wimbledon.
2017 was a year of progress for Ruud at the ATP World Tour. On the wheels of a run to the main draw of the 2017 Australian Open, he made a trip to the semifinals of the ATP 500 Rio Open.
Ruud continued to find ways to develop in September 2018, when he started to train at The Rafa Nadal Academy, of his childhood idol Rafael Nadal. The world started to know him that year, as Ruud made it to three Grand Slams. While he made the second round of the Australian Open and French Open, the Norwegian reached the first round of the US Open.
The following year, Ruud not only reached the semis of Rio (again) and Sao Paulo, but made his first final at the ATP 250 in Houston. Ruud improved his best finish in a Grand Slam, making the third round of Roland Garros—where he lost to Roger Federer. That year Ruud established himself in the top 100, finishing 2019 as world No. 54.
But it was the following season when Ruud reached new heights. Ruud started 2020 on the right foot, making the top 50 after a good performance at the ATP Cup. He had his first big break in February, winning the Argentina Open—the first time a Norwegian player won an ATP title.
That saw Casper move up in the rankings, surpassing his father Christian as the Norwegian player with the highest position at No. 34. He later reached the Italian Open semifinals, but lost to Novak Djokovic.
After making the top 20 due to a great run in Madrid, Ruud proved to be a tough opponent in clay-court events. In July 2021, he won Bastad, Gstaad, and Kitzbuhel to become the first player since Andy Murray in 2011 to win three titles in three weeks.
Ruud extended his winning streak to the hardcourt event in San Diego, defeating Cameron Norrie in the final. However, Stefanos Tsitsipas ended his great run of form in the quarterfinals of the ATP Masters 1000 in Canada.
In 2022, he took his career to the next level. After making the ATP Masters 1000 Miami final, Ruud made history by reaching the French Open final—where he lost to Nadal. But becoming the first Norwegian to reach a Majors final wasn’t enough for him, and he made the US Open final aiming to get the job done.
Unfortunately, Ruud fell short again. Despite having a tournament to remember at Flushing Meadows, the Norwegian was beaten by Spain sensation Carlos Alcaraz in the final. Still, it enabled Ruud to jump from No. 7 in the world ranking to a career-high ranking of No. 2, which is by far the highest ranking ever by a Norwegian player.
Ruud was called up to the national team for the 2015 Davis Cup, in which he contributed to Norway’s promotion to Group II Europe/Africa Zone along with Viktor Durasovic. After helping the team stay in the division for the next two years, Ruud led Norway to a Group I promotion in 2019.
Casper Ruud is the winningest Norwegian player of all time with nine ATP Tour titles to his name. After his win in Buenos Aires in 2020, he won five championships in 2021 and three in 2022.
Casper Ruud has taken his flag to places it hadn’t discovered until now. He was born for this and had a great teacher to learn from. Now it’s time for him to spread his wings and continue making history.
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