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Ruud on having the chance to be world No 1: “I can be in that position again”

Casper Ruud spoke in a press conference about everything that was riding on the US Open final against Carlos Alcaraz

Three players have held the men’s world No 1 spot this season, Novak Djokovic, Daniil Medvedev and Carlos Alcaraz. Casper Ruud, on the other hand, was one match away from achieving that status. If he had won the US Open final against the young Spaniard, he would have reached the summit.

“It was fun, and I think it was great that the two finalists were playing for world No 1, because I believe there was a scenario where one of us could have reached the final if the other one lost in the quarters or semis, and you could have potentially lost the final and still become No 1,” he said. “I was much happier that we would play for world No 1.

“I think last season has shown me that I have the potential if I continue to do the right things, work hard, I can be in that position again or it can never happen. So you never know in this sport. That’s what’s great about tennis, you really have to fight and earn your way up.”

In that final, Ruud had two chances to go up by two sets to set. Nevertheless, the loss of the opportunity to win both a first Grand Slam and the world No 1 spot in that cruel scenario did not discourage him – quite the opposite.

Carlos Alcaraz and Casper Ruud, US Open 2022
Carlos Alcaraz and Casper Ruud, US Open 2022 | © AI / Reuters / Panoramic

“Of course it would be great to win it, but it gives me motivation to work hard and…to believe in myself that it’s possible, because when you grow up from a small tennis country like Norway and you watch Nadal, Federer, Novak play these great matches all your life, it’s tough sometimes to believe you can be there yourself one day.”

Ruud: No points to defend in Australia

The world No 3 also knows when he has the best chance to climb to the top of the podium.

“If there is maybe one time that it could happen again, it’s actually in the near future, because last year I wasn’t able to play Australia. If I have a good trip I can be in a position again. I don’t want to think too much about this. I just want to play tennis and get the season going and see where we are at in the month’s time.”

Carlos Alcaraz is 1000 points ahead of him and Rafael Nadal 200, but until the Miami tournament at the end of March, Alcaraz must defend 1950 points, Nadal 3350, and Ruud only 895.

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