‘You have to expect crazy things from Medvedev’ – Ruud ready for Turin semi-final
It’s his maiden appearance at the year-end spectacular, and he’s into the final four
Casper Ruud held his nerve to secure a spot in the semi-finals of the Nitto ATP Finals – where he will play Daniil Medvedev, whom he has never yet beaten.
The Norwegian is hoping the Turin fans will get behind him, but he knows he will have a tough match – particularly if his opponent opts to play the pantomime villain, as he did against home favourite Jannik Sinner on Thursday.
“When it comes to Medvedev [against Sinner in the round-robin], I was watching not the end because then I was sleeping, I was getting ready for this match [against Andrey Rublev]. But I watched this morning some highlights of the match.
“I actually watched until it was 6-0 [at the end of the first set]. Medvedev was playing unbelievable. Then I went to sleep. I woke up and saw it was an incredible match. I wish I had stayed up to watch longer.
“I saw, yeah, some gestures he was doing or some things he was doing on the court. Maybe it’s a little bit typical him. You always have to expect some crazy things coming from him. It’s happened before. It’s nothing new.
“Tomorrow, of course, I hope I can have the crowd a little bit on my side because I’m playing the No. 2 player in the world. Some support will be obviously appreciated. I think it could be a good thing for me to have the people in my back. I will just try to fight and run until I’m too tired to run. Hope I can deliver a good match.
“I have lost to him two times before, so I have to come up with a better game plan tomorrow.”
Ruud – I try to be a nice guy
Playing to the crowd isn’t something that comes naturally to Ruud himself – who was asked about his peers’ pre-tournament words of praise for his kind nature.
“I always try to be a nice guy, even though I win or lose,” he agreed. “I think that’s a big value that my family has raised me to think about. Of course, I can show some frustration on the court, but I think it’s always nice to try to stay calm and be a nice, down-to-earth guy. It’s important values to me.
“I’ve said to myself when I started on tour that I will try to go my full career without maybe breaking a racquet on tour. I can only name one player of the top 10 who has done that, and it’s Nadal. Federer also has been exceptional, except one time in Miami that he broke the racquet. Those two guys have been exceptional in their behavior.
“Of course, it’s also allowed to show emotion. I’m not saying everyone should be stone-faced or not do anything. That’s not the values I stand for.
“It’s funny because when you look at the tennis match, people are winning, they are always smiling, it’s going to be fine, behaving well. I think many times on the tennis court when things don’t go as well as you hope, I think many players show who they really are, start breaking racquets, they can get very angry. My goal is not to do this. I will try to go for the next years without doing it and hope I can stay to this mentality.”
“It’s nice, of course, that the other players can see that I am trying to be a nice guy. Even if I win or lose, I always try to be respectful, nice to my opponents.”