The Ruud Awakening!

In 1996, Casper's father won the River Oaks Invitational Tennis Tournament held in Houston. In 2008, the River Oaks International was merged with the U.S. Men's Clay Court Championships.

Houston Chronicle, April 6, 2019:
¤¤ Casper Ruud follows in father's footsteps at Clay Courts
(Excerpts)

Christian Ruud returned to Houston and River Oaks Country Club this weekend with some great memories. He also returned with his son, Casper, who is intent upon making some memories of his own in the Fayez Sarofim & Co. U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship. /---/

The older Ruud won the River Oaks Invitational title in 1996, a year after he climbed to his career — and Norwegian — best of 39th in the world rankings. Although River Oaks wasn’t an ATP World Tour event, winning felt just as sweet and he made sure his son got to see his name engraved on the plaque under the north grandstand honoring the exhibition tournament’s champions as soon as they arrived on the grounds.
/---/
No Norwegian had been able to break into the top-100 since Christian was in his prime.
“We’re lacking the indoor facilities, which we need (because of the long, cold winters) and the tennis tradition’s just not there,” Christian said of Norway’s modest tennis past. “It’s the skiing and the winter sports that have the biggest traditions.
Nonetheless, he encouraged Casper to follow in his footsteps “since he was a little boy.” To further his prospects of success at the Tour level, it was decided Casper would enter Rafael Nadal’s relatively new tennis academy on the Spanish island of Mallorca in the fall of 2018. Nadal, of course, is considered the greatest clay-court player in history, and the program is overseen by his own mentor, uncle Toni Nadal.
Rudd enjoys the occasional privilege of practicing with Nadal — “he’s still much better than everyone at the academy,” he conceded — and the 11-time French Open champion routinely sends him texts of encouragement.
“It’s been really good,” Ruud said. “It’s great learning from one of the best to ever to do it and from his coaches and his team. They have everything a professional player would need to train well and stay healthy. It was tough for me to stay for long periods in Norway and get pushed really hard.” /---/
Ruud’s goal for the 2019 season is “to reach No. 50”. /---/
Read more:
https://www.houstonchronicle.com/sports/article/USCLAY0407-13747386.php

Vamos Casper!
 
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Later on Saturday Casper Ruud will take on world no. 241 Daniel Elahi Galan in semi-final action in Houston. Earlier today the 22-year-old Colombian defeated Jordan Thompson 6-4 in the third set of their rain-delayed quarter-final.
 
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Casper Ruud had a tense, nervous start to his semi-final against Daniel Elahi Galan of Colombia in Houston yesterday. The Norwegian seemed inhibited during the early stages of the match and called the trainer when 1-2 down in the first set due to a problem in the right shoulder area. The effects of the treatment he then received weren't immediately obvious as he was broken in the next game and soon found himself 1-4 and then 2-5 down in the first set. Up until that point Galan had been playing some impressive tennis, hitting freely as if he had nothing to lose and keeping the pressure on his opponent.

Down 2-5, Ruud held serve to 30 and, when he broke serve in the next game, also to 30, a change came over the match. All of the Colombian's early inspiration seemed to have deserted him as the Norwegian's game caught fire and a string of winners began to flow from his racket. From 2-5 down he won 20 of 26 points and five games in a row to take the first set. During this period, Ruud's first serve and forehand, two real weapons as opposed to two shots that are merely hit hard, were finding their targets and the Norwegian was visibly growing in confidence. Indeed, at times in this match he looked as if he was fulfilling a special destiny.

Although Galan won the first game of the second set, he had no answer to the brilliance coming from the other side of the net as Ruud, in full flow, broke at 1-1 and again to lead 5-2 in the second set. For much of that set the Colombian was on the defensive as the Norwegian moved him from side to side with his powerful forehand, opening up the court time and and again for a winning shot. A love service game brought Ruud a well-deserved victory, 7-5, 6-2, and took him into his first singles final at ATP level.
 
Casper Ruud had a tense, nervous start to his semi-final against Daniel Elahi Galan of Colombia in Houston yesterday. The Norwegian seemed inhibited during the early stages of the match and called the trainer when 1-2 down in the first set due to a problem in the right shoulder area. The effects of the treatment he then received weren't immediately obvious as he was broken in the next game and soon found himself 1-4 and then 2-5 down in the first set. Up until that point Galan had been playing some impressive tennis, hitting freely as if he had nothing to lose and keeping the pressure on his opponent.

Down 2-5, Ruud held serve to 30 and, when he broke serve in the next game, also to 30, a change came over the match. All of the Colombian's early inspiration seemed to have deserted him as the Norwegian's game caught fire and a string of winners began to flow from his racket. From 2-5 down he won 20 of 26 points and five games in a row to take the first set. During this period, Ruud's first serve and forehand, two real weapons as opposed to two shots that are merely hit hard, were finding their targets and the Norwegian was visibly growing in confidence. Indeed, at times in this match he looked as if he was fulfilling a special destiny.

Although Galan won the first game of the second set, he had no answer to the brilliance coming from the other side of the net as Ruud, in full flow, broke at 1-1 and again to lead 5-2 in the second set. For much of that set the Colombian was on the defensive as the Norwegian moved him from side to side with his powerful forehand, opening up the court time and and again for a winning shot. A love service game brought Ruud a well-deserved victory, 7-5, 6-2, and took him into his first singles final at ATP level.
According to his norwegian facebook site, it was a cervical problem. Anyway, a great tournament by Ruud, lets hope he brings his A game for the final:)
 
After his exploits in the USA, Casper Ruud has been spending some time at home in Norway and was recently interviewed on Norwegian television. According to his schedule, he plans to try to qualify for the main singles draw at the upcoming tournaments in Madrid, Rome and Geneva before taking part in the French Open at the end of May.
 
Not the kindest of draws for Casper Ruud in the qualifying event for next week's Madrid Masters Series tournament. The Norwegian has been drawn to play the no. 2 seed, Benoit Paire, in the first round. The winner of that match will face either Albert Ramos Vinolas or Taro Daniel, the no. 14 seed.
 
A paire of baguettes baked fresh for Benoit!

In before @Meles claims Casper is red hot and a certain contender in Madrid and beyond...Paire was pairelously close to his all time worst today..just 3 aces (his bread and butter in Marrakech) and 9 paire of faults to pave the way. Let’s see how he plays ARV tomorrow.
 
A paire of baguettes baked fresh for Benoit!

In before @Meles claims Casper is red hot and a certain contender in Madrid and beyond...Paire was pairelously close to his all time worst today..just 3 aces (his bread and butter in Marrakech) and 9 paire of faults to pave the way. Let’s see how he plays ARV tomorrow.
Different story tomorrow, agreed, but 6-1 x 2 is never wrong :D
 

Meles

Bionic Poster
A paire of baguettes baked fresh for Benoit!

In before @Meles claims Casper is red hot and a certain contender in Madrid and beyond...Paire was pairelously close to his all time worst today..just 3 aces (his bread and butter in Marrakech) and 9 paire of faults to pave the way. Let’s see how he plays ARV tomorrow.
Ruud with tremendous points won on clay this season and now Garin (who is not as good) is in the Munich final sitting pretty. Paire is dangerous with a big serve so great win. Taro Daniel is gone so just has to deal with old Ramos:eek::
22/2018 R64 FO - RG Clay Albert Ramos-Vinolas Casper Ruud 6-4 6-2 6-4
17/2017 R32 Barcelona Clay Albert Ramos-Vinolas Casper Ruud 7-6(6) 6-4
 
Ruud with tremendous points won on clay this season and now Garin (who is not as good) is in the Munich final sitting pretty. Paire is dangerous with a big serve so great win. Taro Daniel is gone so just has to deal with old Ramos:eek::
22/2018 R64 FO - RG Clay Albert Ramos-Vinolas Casper Ruud 6-4 6-2 6-4
17/2017 R32 Barcelona Clay Albert Ramos-Vinolas Casper Ruud 7-6(6) 6-4
Casper's backhand is not good enough to deal with lefties with heavy topspin (yet). Perhaps training with Rafa has helped! :)

Garin firmly outplayed Ruud in the Houston final.
 
Ruud with tremendous points won on clay this season and now Garin (who is not as good) is in the Munich final sitting pretty. Paire is dangerous with a big serve so great win. Taro Daniel is gone so just has to deal with old Ramos:eek::
22/2018 R64 FO - RG Clay Albert Ramos-Vinolas Casper Ruud 6-4 6-2 6-4
17/2017 R32 Barcelona Clay Albert Ramos-Vinolas Casper Ruud 7-6(6) 6-4
Paire had no serve today (9 DFs for instance), pay attention. And Garin is not as good as CR? Your beloved stats beg to differ. Garin has a title and two finals this season.....? Come on.
 

Meles

Bionic Poster
Paire had no serve today (9 DFs for instance), pay attention. And Garin is not as good as CR? Your beloved stats beg to differ. Garin has a title and two finals this season.....? Come on.
Ruud 54% points won on clay level ATP matches >>>> Garin around 51.5%. Ruud should have won Houston final in straight sets. Garin to his credit was super clutch that week and in Sao Paulo, but that won't hold forever. Ruud's time will come.
 
As much as i like him i dont think he is top 30 material. He lacks the natural ball feel, defence and is too dependent on opponents hitting fairly high to his forehand. But he is very dedicated and is a hard worker, but in the physical department he has already almost peaked. But since he is no longer a kid it is not easy to now suddenly learn a proper slice/lob or the short game and handling different pace. It is easier if you are gifted in the natural feel for the ball at 20yo and then start working hard physically. Like Felix or Shapo.
 
Ruud 54% points won on clay level ATP matches >>>> Garin around 51.5%. Ruud should have won Houston final in straight sets. Garin to his credit was super clutch that week and in Sao Paulo, but that won't hold forever. Ruud's time will come.
Interesting stuff. I was at that match. Basically Garin was just more clutch. He escaped with first set tiebreak.
 
As much as i like him i dont think he is top 30 material. He lacks the natural ball feel, defence and is too dependent on opponents hitting fairly high to his forehand. But he is very dedicated and is a hard worker, but in the physical department he has already almost peaked. But since he is no longer a kid it is not easy to now suddenly learn a proper slice/lob or the short game and handling different pace. It is easier if you are gifted in the natural feel for the ball at 20yo and then start working hard physically. Like Felix or Shapo.
Agree. I think he will be someone who is relevant on clay mostly, like Cuevas, Pella and the likes. Which is nice in its own right.

But, as you say, looks very determined to put in the hard work. He also has a sort of built-in toughness mentally which will help :)

What I think is really missing, is the inside-the-court game. Forehand to forehand he can hang with anyone. Extreme action on that shot!
 

Meles

Bionic Poster
As much as i like him i dont think he is top 30 material. He lacks the natural ball feel, defence and is too dependent on opponents hitting fairly high to his forehand. But he is very dedicated and is a hard worker, but in the physical department he has already almost peaked. But since he is no longer a kid it is not easy to now suddenly learn a proper slice/lob or the short game and handling different pace. It is easier if you are gifted in the natural feel for the ball at 20yo and then start working hard physically. Like Felix or Shapo.
Agree. I think he will be someone who is relevant on clay mostly, like Cuevas, Pella and the likes. Which is nice in its own right.

But, as you say, looks very determined to put in the hard work. He also has a sort of built-in toughness mentally which will help :)

What I think is really missing, is the inside-the-court game. Forehand to forehand he can hang with anyone. Extreme action on that shot!
You both are fools. Ruud may not be top 5, but he will be such a force on clay. He's already on the cusp or even perhaps better than Cuevas or Pella ever were and they are nice players. Ruud is just 20; this is utter foolishness relegating him to barely making the top 30 (the two you name junior are really top 20, so better than morten's nonsense.:mad:
 
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