“I had no appetite” – Infected with parasite while playing at Roland-Garros, Casper Ruud is just getting back to 100 percent

After his first-round win at Wimbledon the Norwegian revealed he has been dealing with a serious stomach issue for weeks.

Casper Ruud Roland-Garros 2024 Chryslene Caillaud / Panoramic

Casper Ruud was a shell of himself in his semi-final at Roland-Garros. After a blistering first set, he had nothing left to give and went quietly against Alexander Zverev, losing the final three sets.

“I wasn’t able to play with the kind of tennis I like to play with intensity because I was kind of limited with my stomach,” Ruud said at the time. “I don’t want to make an excuse or excuses, but it’s frustrating and disappointing.”

Now we know why Ruud was so weak in Paris. Speaking to reporters after his 7-6(2) 6-4 6-4 win over Alex Bolt on Day 1 at Wimbledon, the Norwegian revealed that doctors found a small parasite in his system.

“It was a little bit unusual. I went home the day after and kept feeling quite bad for a full week and decided to take a few tests after a week of almost, like, lying in bed all the time. I had no appetite, and I was still bothered,” he said.

“So I took some tests and found out that I had this kind of uncommon small parasite that I had been infected with through not sure where, but the most kind of normal place where you can get infected from it is through just unclean water.

“It can take up to 12 days before it kicks in and you feel symptoms, so it’s very difficult to know where I got it. Symptoms can last and bother you for about two weeks. I was mostly in bed for 10, 11 days, which was not what I was kind of hoping for.”

Casper Ruud, Wimbledon, 2022
Norway’s Casper Ruud in action during his first round match against Spain’s Albert Ramos-Vinolas (AI/Reuters/Panoramic)

No.8-seeded Ruud says he is nearly back at 100 percent now.

“I rested well, that’s for sure, but it wasn’t ideal,” he said. “I’ve kind of regained my strength and been practicing in London since last Tuesday. I didn’t do much between Paris and coming here. It took a while to get this thing away.

“Now, luckily, I feel better. Been feeling better every day and been practicing pretty well and trying to feel back to 100 percent, which I feel like I’m quite close to.”

Ruud’s philosophy on preparing for Wimbledon and the second half of the season

Ruud has been criticised by some for not placing much emphasis on his Wimbledon preparations in the past, but the 25-year-old says he needs time after a difficult clay-court season to recharge his batteries.

“It’s impossible, at least for me. I don’t know how other players feel, but to me it’s impossible to go as hard and play as many tournaments week-in-week-out for ten and a half months, so I kind of say it’s time to kind of try to cut it a little bit in half,” he explained.

Ruud is now 3-5 lifetime at Wimbledon after Monday’s win. He will face Fabio Fognini in the second round.

“For me the kind of break that makes the most sense is right after Paris,” he said. “Take a few weeks off from traveling, tournaments. Still practice and kind of regroup and get ready for Wimbledon, but because after Wimbledon for me there are a few nice tournaments in Europe on clay typically, and this year as well we have Olympics.

“That’s what my schedule looks like so that I will be ready and prepared for the second part of the year in a way when Wimbledon comes around. For me in my opinion it’s a good way to kind of set up some rest in the middle of the season, and I know that for others who prefer to play on grass or like to play on grass it’s not an option and they would rather do the break after Wimbledon. But it’s a matter of what you personally feel is best for you.”

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