Caspar Ruud will win the French Open next year

Nadalgaenger

G.O.A.T.
Rafa’s Norwegian protege will begin to inflict serious pain to opponents on clay. He’s looking better and better.
 

dkmura

Rookie
I doubt Rafa is ready to roll over and give in the Ruud (or anybody else) at RG in '22. The defending champ might have a few things to say about making Ruud the final as well.
 

Tennisfan339

Professional
Ruud is vulturing every 250 on clay, he will probably win in Kitzbühl next week too.

But he is beating weak players most of the time. Coria in final last week, Kopriva and now Gaston in final. Also Paire, Novak, Laaksonen, Carballès-Baena... That's great, but can he beat top players in Roland Garros, it's the question. He lost in straight sets against Federer in Roland Garros, this year he had an early upset against ADF.

Until he gets past the first week in RG or wins a Masters1000 on clay (so far he has made a couple of semifinals), I can't see him as a contender for RG.

His backhand is still a big weakness. Djokovic exposed it last year in Rome, Rublev this year in Monaco. If someone else figures it out and stalks his backhand, does he have a plan B ? Still too soon to tell...
 

Bubcay

Hall of Fame
Solid player on clay, but not in the big leagues, I am afraid. Winning small tournaments, while the major players are absent.
 

Nadalgaenger

G.O.A.T.
Ruud is vulturing every 250 on clay, he will probably win in Kitzbühl next week too.

But he is beating weak players most of the time. Coria in final last week, Kopriva and now Gaston in final. Also Paire, Novak, Laaksonen, Carballès-Baena... That's great, but can he beat top players in Roland Garros, it's the question. He lost in straight sets against Federer in Roland Garros, this year he had an early upset against ADF.

Until he gets past the first week in RG or wins a Masters1000 on clay (so far he has made a couple of semifinals), I can't see him as a contender for RG.

His backhand is still a big weakness. Djokovic exposed it last year in Rome, Rublev this year in Monaco. If someone else figures it out and stalks his backhand, does he have a plan B ? Still too soon to tell...
Fair points all. Making SF at Masters a big step. He may have the biggest clay FH on tour.
 

El_Yotamo

Hall of Fame
I was really pulling for Ruud to make a deep run this year and he really disappointed by losing out to ADF in 5 (3rd round btw). Therefore I'm gonna be much less optimistic about his chances next year until I see further progress warranting the return of my optimism

Alcaraz is also someone who's been steadily improving, but I'm gonna take a cautious approach with him as well
 

Hamnavoe

Hall of Fame
He's made a habit of vulturing 250s recently but his performances at the clay Masters were also excellent, with semi-final appearances at Monte Carlo and Madrid including a win over an in form Tsitsipas at the latter tournament. The loss to Davidovich Fokina was disappointing but also an anomaly, as Ruud won way more points overall but lost the three tight sets. I think he's top 10, maybe even top 5 on the surface, but still has ground to make up behind Djokovic/Nadal/Tsitsipas, who are currently the three players who win enough games to be in the bracket of contenders for the Roland Garros title (you could probably add Zverev on a good day in there too).
 

Nadalgaenger

G.O.A.T.
He's made a habit of vulturing 250s recently but his performances at the clay Masters were also excellent, with semi-final appearances at Monte Carlo and Madrid including a win over an in form Tsitsipas at the latter tournament. The loss to Davidovich Fokina was disappointing but also an anomaly, as Ruud won way more points overall but lost the three tight sets. I think he's top 10, maybe even top 5 on the surface, but still has ground to make up behind Djokovic/Nadal/Tsitsipas, who are currently the three players who win enough games to be in the bracket of contenders for the Roland Garros title (you could probably add Zverev on a good day in there too).
Fair assessment. Don’t forget about the guy in my profile picture!
What about Sinner?
 

Hamnavoe

Hall of Fame
Fair assessment. Don’t forget about the guy in my profile picture!
What about Sinner?
On clay? Not close to bring a contender. He won just over 52% of games on the surface this year, compared to Ruud/Tsitsipas who both sit around 60% (though Ruud's numbers are inflated by playing a higher number of smaller tournaments - his game % at Masters was about 58%, trailing Tsitsipas by about 2%).

His return game sits at around Tsitsipas level on clay, which is probably top 15-20, but Tsitsipas can compensate for his relative lack of return against other big contenders with an extremely good hold game, which Sinner doesn't have - his hold % on clay ranks outside the top 50, though that does include some bit part players inflating their ranking by only appearing briefly at small events so Sinner's rating can be marked up a bit.

On clay he held 145/194 and broke 57/194. If he could increase each of those numbers by 10% (i.e. 164/194 and 76/194) he would put himself in the bracket of contenders, but that won't happen in a year.
 

Jokervich

Hall of Fame
Rafa’s Norwegian protege will begin to inflict serious pain to opponents on clay. He’s looking better and better.
No he won't. He will be another next gen flop like they all are. Stop pretending that these guys are any good, because they're not.
 

stringertom

Bionic Poster
Ruud is vulturing every 250 on clay, he will probably win in Kitzbühl next week too.

But he is beating weak players most of the time. Coria in final last week, Kopriva and now Gaston in final. Also Paire, Novak, Laaksonen, Carballès-Baena... That's great, but can he beat top players in Roland Garros, it's the question. He lost in straight sets against Federer in Roland Garros, this year he had an early upset against ADF.

Until he gets past the first week in RG or wins a Masters1000 on clay (so far he has made a couple of semifinals), I can't see him as a contender for RG.

His backhand is still a big weakness. Djokovic exposed it last year in Rome, Rublev this year in Monaco. If someone else figures it out and stalks his backhand, does he have a plan B ? Still too soon to tell...
Alcaraz destroyed him in Marbella this year. They will do battle on the terre battue for many years, along with a few others both older and younger (yes, there’s always a few that are next up!). The dynamics at the top of men’s tennis after 2025, when it will become a reality that the tricons have moved on, will be intricate and the worthiest of the next generation must settle things on the court as to who takes which spots in their place.
 

Nadalgaenger

G.O.A.T.
No he won't. He will be another next gen flop like they all are. Stop pretending that these guys are any good, because they're not.
According to this logic, no great talent will EVER emerge in history of tennis. Djokovic has initiated Tennis Armageddon.
 

Jokervich

Hall of Fame
According to this logic, no great talent will EVER emerge in history of tennis. Djokovic has initiated Tennis Armageddon.
After Djokovic retires, we will have situation like the WTA where anyone in the top 100 could win a slam and top seeds will constantly have random losses to complete nobodies. There will be zero consistency from any player.
 

smalahove

Hall of Fame
Alcaraz destroyed him in Marbella this year. They will do battle on the terre battue for many years, along with a few others both older and younger (yes, there’s always a few that are next up!). The dynamics at the top of men’s tennis after 2025, when it will become a reality that the tricons have moved on, will be intricate and the worthiest of the next generation must settle things on the court as to who takes which spots in their place.
Alcaraz has an impressive game for sure. That being said, Ruud is the (def facto) highest ranked opponent he's managed to beat so far, as Goffin's ranking at the time was just covid-nonsense (he is now #20 on the ATP ranking, but #42 at race ranking which reflects his real ranking imo). Imo, it's not the big hitting that is his biggest strength, but his court coverage and speed. He's like Moutet with bigger weapons. But assessing his potential, you have to take into account his biological age/maturity: he looks much older than he is, which means he is not likely to develop more physically, whereas a thin guy like Sinner *might* be able to bulk up.

He's only 18 so it's unfair to put too much into his matches so far this year, but to me, he does not look like his game is geared towards the stamina needed to win Bo5 slams yet. And whilst praising his guns blazing style, and latest ATP250 win, he didn't meet much competition besides ARV, and he did lose sets to Pouille (!) and Krajinovic. Berdych also used to look invincible, until he met the "wrong" opponent, and Nadal did just that (whereas he plays tight training matches with Ruud apparently).

Ruud has had issues with fast playing, heavy hitters, but these have first and foremost been flat hitters like Mager or Garin. I'm looking forward to their possible meet in Kitzbuhel to see how that match fares. I'm hoping they can play at their highest level!

And btw. to those eager to ridicule Ruud's opponents in Gstaad, Gaston was playing *well* above his ranking. Some of his ROS were as good as you get.
 

Aabye5

Hall of Fame
Alcaraz has an impressive game for sure. That being said, Ruud is the (def facto) highest ranked opponent he's managed to beat so far, as Goffin's ranking at the time was just covid-nonsense (he is now #20 on the ATP ranking, but #42 at race ranking which reflects his real ranking imo). Imo, it's not the big hitting that is his biggest strength, but his court coverage and speed. He's like Moutet with bigger weapons. But assessing his potential, you have to take into account his biological age/maturity: he looks much older than he is, which means he is not likely to develop more physically, whereas a thin guy like Sinner *might* be able to bulk up.

He's only 18 so it's unfair to put too much into his matches so far this year, but to me, he does not look like his game is geared towards the stamina needed to win Bo5 slams yet. And whilst praising his guns blazing style, and latest ATP250 win, he didn't meet much competition besides ARV, and he did lose sets to Pouille (!) and Krajinovic. Berdych also used to look invincible, until he met the "wrong" opponent, and Nadal did just that (whereas he plays tight training matches with Ruud apparently).

Ruud has had issues with fast playing, heavy hitters, but these have first and foremost been flat hitters like Mager or Garin. I'm looking forward to their possible meet in Kitzbuhel to see how that match fares. I'm hoping they can play at their highest level!

And btw. to those eager to ridicule Ruud's opponents in Gstaad, Gaston was playing *well* above his ranking. Some of his ROS were as good as you get.
What I like:
Ruud - gets a leg up mentally given his dad was a top 100 player and he has earned his stripes by playing some of these lower level tournaments. Very strong and a very hard worker, plus he sets up his points better than any other young gun.

Alcaraz - young and immensely talented, has Ferrerro (a former RG champ, no less) in his camp. He's a shotmaker and it's strange but I think I like his backhand better than his forehand. I think the latter could break down.

What I don't like:

Ruud - he can be bullied, even by little Hugo. And by setting up his points he can grab the win against an inconsistent player like Tsitsipas or Berrettini, a true clay court player like Alcaraz can outsmart him.

Alcaraz - doesn't seem quite as speedy as some other players who have had great success on clay.


If Hugo was just a hair or two taller, though, I'd pick him. Clever and creative.
 

smalahove

Hall of Fame
Ruud has been bullied but seems to develop his game continuously to be able to come up with answers to different players.

Since he likes to load up on both wings, he doesn't like being pressed for time. Playing fast or changing up pace does this.
I also think his extended racket is not too maneuverable due to the length, balance and SW (just an assumption), and doesn't lend itself to net and touch play.

The last couple of years, he was "bullied" by fast flat players like Mager and Garin, but it seems he's been able to lower the pace in such encounters.
The three latest matches I can recall where he's been "bullied" have been against Basilashvili, Alcaraz and Berrettini. In those matches those players have played epic tennis; Berrettini made a lot of clean winners falling back from the baseline, Basilashvili was literally painting the lines throughout the match (esp with his backhand), and Alcaraz had dozens of points where he tied together one huge FH after another with narrow margins. If Ruud can find a solution this time, on how to lower the pace or level of this kind of opponent, he might have a shot at a big titles (ATP1000/slam).

Hugo played a solid final, but was in no way bullying Ruud. Gaston was returning at Murray level, esp on second serves, which I haven't seen anyone else being close to, against Ruud - and that includes Djokovic. Gaston is clever and creative because he has to, he doesn't have the firepower to win consistently from the baseline, just like Paire f.inst. The big difference between him and Ruud, is that Gaston makes a lot of UEs at the wrong time just like his compatriot Paire, whereas CR has taken a page out of Nadal's playbook when it comes to performance under pressure, and that's where he impresses me the most, as he seems to thrive under pressure, and not in the ADF- or Paire-way, where you opt for underarm serves or drop volleys on BPs, but in the Big 3 way, playing your most solid tennis when needed.
 

Aabye5

Hall of Fame
Ruud has been bullied but seems to develop his game continuously to be able to come up with answers to different players.

Since he likes to load up on both wings, he doesn't like being pressed for time. Playing fast or changing up pace does this.
I also think his extended racket is not too maneuverable due to the length, balance and SW (just an assumption), and doesn't lend itself to net and touch play.

The last couple of years, he was "bullied" by fast flat players like Mager and Garin, but it seems he's been able to lower the pace in such encounters.
The three latest matches I can recall where he's been "bullied" have been against Basilashvili, Alcaraz and Berrettini. In those matches those players have played epic tennis; Berrettini made a lot of clean winners falling back from the baseline, Basilashvili was literally painting the lines throughout the match (esp with his backhand), and Alcaraz had dozens of points where he tied together one huge FH after another with narrow margins. If Ruud can find a solution this time, on how to lower the pace or level of this kind of opponent, he might have a shot at a big titles (ATP1000/slam).

Hugo played a solid final, but was in no way bullying Ruud. Gaston was returning at Murray level, esp on second serves, which I haven't seen anyone else being close to, against Ruud - and that includes Djokovic. Gaston is clever and creative because he has to, he doesn't have the firepower to win consistently from the baseline, just like Paire f.inst. The big difference between him and Ruud, is that Gaston makes a lot of UEs at the wrong time just like his compatriot Paire, whereas CR has taken a page out of Nadal's playbook when it comes to performance under pressure, and that's where he impresses me the most, as he seems to thrive under pressure, and not in the ADF- or Paire-way, where you opt for underarm serves or drop volleys on BPs, but in the Big 3 way, playing your most solid tennis when needed.
Perhaps bullied is a bit strong, yet Hugo is a little guy and he was definitely not overpowered by the much taller Ruud. Imagine if he were only taller....I agree that he made a lot more unforced errors, but he also is playing a very different style of game. Ruud is a very solid player (and I mentioned that he is more consistent - I'd even add that he's probably better than any of the NextGen). BUT I don't think UFE count is a great example of anything.

Yes, CR is like Nadal in some ways, but he is not nearly as aggressive. Compare Rafa's match against young Hugo at RG, vs this match.


On clay at least, Rafa can bully almost anyone. Ruud can out think quite a few of his peers, but I haven't seen one of his matches where he actually bully someone. Can he can go very far with his ability to set up points? Yes.
 
Top