By Richard Pagliaro | Wednesday June 2, 2021
Tennis is played in a rectangle and Casper Ruud continues bringing his game full circle at Roland Garros.
Ruud rolled past 126th-ranked Polish baseliner Kamil Majchrzak 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 into the Roland Garros third round for the third straight year.
Controlling the center of the court with his twisting topspin forehand, Ruud scored his sixth straight clay-court win raising his 2021 record on dirt to 17-4. That includes his run to his second career clay-court title at the Geneva Open to prepare for Paris.
The 15th-seeded Ruud is making a habit of major achievement. In Melbourne earlier this season, Ruud became the second Norwegian player—man or woman—to reach a Grand Slam fourth round after his father, Christian Ruud, who reached the last 16 at the 1997 Australian Open. Christian Ruud has served as his son’s long-time coach and Casper also calls his dad friend, mentor and inspiration.
“We have fun on and off the court. He was a young father, and he’s still a young father, I think,” Casper Ruud said. “He’s not 50 years old yet. I’m already 22. I mean, we have a very, very good relationship. But also we respect each other.
“I put a lot of faith in listening to him when I grew up because I knew he was basically the only one in Norway who really knew what the life on tour was about, how you would have to train hard every day to kind of succeed.”
The younger Ruud has already eclipsed his dad’s career-high ranking by bursting to a career-best No. 16 and now he’ll try to push through to his first Roland Garros fourth round against Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, who went the five-set distance to reach round three.
Ruud trains at the Rafa Nadal Academy in Mallorca and often hits with 13-time Roland Garros champion Nadal.
These days the younger Ruud appreciates all the weekend work he did with his dad in his younger years.
“It’s been going well,” Casper Ruud said. “He taught me to stay focused and serious already from a young age, made me work the extra hours on the weekends.
“I have to thank him a lot for my small success so far. I hope he can be the coach for me for many more years.”
Photo credit: Genot Geneva Open Facebok