He has all the ingredients to make a good salad: Ruud echoes Nadal’s assessment of Alcaraz
After going down to Alcaraz in the Miami final, Ruud says the Spanish teen is a nice, humble guy and a hard-worker
Norway’s Casper Ruud echoed Rafael Nadal‘s sentiments that Spain’s Carlos Alcaraz has all the ingredients to become a great player, after being defeated by the 18-year-old in the final of the Miami Open.
After beating Alcaraz in the Indian Wells semi-finals, Nadal had said his younger compatriot had all the qualities to become a great champion.
On Sunday, Alcaraz came from 1-4 down in the first set to win 7-5, 6-4 in one hour and 52 minutes to become the youngest-ever player to win the Miami title and now moves to No 11 in the world rankings, four spots behind Ruud, who himself moves up one spot to a new career-high of No 7.
Speaking after the final, Ruud spoke about the improvements that Alcaraz has made over the past year and echoed Nadal’s sentiments.
“He’s young, so I haven’t seen him like as much as I have seen other players, but he plays very aggressive. At the same time, he doesn’t mind moving and grinding out balls or points if he needs to. So I think he’s one of the players I played who moves better than pretty much anyone. I think I have also played a couple of practice sets with Monfils, and he is always running very well. I think those two players are one of the guys who are moving the best on court. Also have Alex de Minaur, and these guys are very quick with their feet. He has kind of that very quick feet movement but also very much or a lot of firepower in his groundstrokes.”
“And he serves not incredible but heavy and good enough, and he can mix it up well, going out wide, he goes kick serve sometimes on the first serve. I think I have seen Rafa talk about him, saying that he has all the ingredients to make a good salad, and I think that describes it very well (smiling).”
He’s just a humble guy. I know he works hard. I think he deserves a lot of success if he has it: Ruud on Alcaraz
Sunday’s title was the second ATP title of the year for Alcaraz and the third of his career. Ruud believes that it is the first of many to come for the young Spaniard.
“I think he has been or physically he has grown a little bit, I think he has put on some more muscle since last year, but even last year he was ripping the ball very hard. Even though he didn’t have like a major outbreak in springtime last year, I think we all could predict that he would have a good season. This year has been impeccable one so far for him. So, he’s one to look out for, and I think we will see him on the big stage for many years and lifting trophies for many years to come.”
Besides complimenting his opponent’s on-court game, Ruud also spoke highly of Alcaraz as a person, saying he was a hard-working humble person.
“He’s just a nice guy. I don’t know him too well personally, but he’s one of the younger guys. I remember myself when I was one of the younger guys coming into the tour, you were a bit maybe like afraid and you don’t know too many people. Obviously his name has grown a lot in the past year. So I think everyone has got to know him a little bit. And obviously now he’s part of an elite group of tennis worldwide. I don’t think he needs to be taken care of around on the tour anymore, but he’s always been a nice guy, and his team is very nice. He doesn’t make too much out of himself. He’s just a humble guy. I know he works hard. I think he deserves a lot of success if he has it.”