Why Casper Ruud has every chance of continuing his resurgence at French Open 2023

Why Casper Ruud has every chance of continuing his resurgence at French Open 2023

Casper Ruud has not had a great time since losing to Rafael Nadal in the 2022 French Open final. He has won a couple of titles since, in Gstaad and Estoril, but his performance in the big tournaments has been nothing special.

Out of Ruud’s 10 career titles, nine have come on clay and hence, he undoubtedly counts it as his favourite surface. Although it seems unlikely that he will be able to repeat last year’s heroics at Roland-Garros, he will be the one most of the other players want to avoid on the red dirt of Paris.

Casper Ruud showed signs of resurgence of late

Despite not faring well in Monte Carlo and Madrid, Casper Ruud showed signs of improvement at the Italian Open in Rome. He reached the semifinals and lost to Holger Rune after offering stiff resistance to the latter.

However, it has to be remembered in this context that Ruud did not face any big player in Rome until coming up against Rune. Moreover, he got beaten against Nicolas Jarry of Chile in the quarterfinal of the Geneva Open recently, which would dampen his confidence somewhat.

Most of the Norwegian’s success has typically come in ATP 250 tournaments and aside from his run at the French Open last year, he has mostly failed to perform well in the bigger ones. Still, he will take heart from the fact that he made it to the last four in Rome, as that augurs well for his campaign at Roland-Garros.

He has been drawn in the same half as two talented youngsters Rune and Jannik Sinner, but will not have to face either Novak Djokovic or Carlos Alcaraz until the final. He might also get the opportunity to avenge his defeat to Rune in Rome in the semi-final at Roland-Garros.

Facing Rune and Sinner will mean that Ruud will have to grind out opponents younger than him. It might not be an easy task, but Ruud has more experience of playing in the Slams. Hence, he will fancy his chances of getting the better of them.

Ruud’s forehand and well-controlled game helps him on clay

Casper Ruud does not possess a blistering serve or an elite return, but he has a formidable weapon in the form of a powerful forehand. His relatively error-free game also helps him keep the pressure on his opponents. Moreover, his good movement allows him to cover the width of the baseline well on clay. As a result, his opponents often find it difficult to hit through him on the surface.

He managed to keep the unforced errors in check in almost all his matches at the French Open last year and reaped the rewards of the same. However, it does not mean that the Norwegian is not able to play aggressively, as he can dictate terms with his forehand at times.

On clay, the slowness of the surface allows Casper Ruud to go around his backhand often and then trouble his opponents with his inside-out and inside-in forehands. Ruud can also engage in crosscourt backhand exchanges quite frequently, but he will have to improve his down-the-line backhand considerably to become a better player.

It can be safely assumed that Casper Ruud should perform well at the upcoming Roland-Garros if he can keep his focus in the right place. He is a solid, rather than a spectacular, player and can be trusted to win a close match. If he can keep minimizing his errors and does not try to be too flashy, there is no reason why cannot make a deep run in this year’s French Open as well.

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