Casper Ruud talked about Holger Rune's medical timeout during their semifinal match at the 2023 Italian Open in Rome.
The life of a professional athlete is not always that simple, especially when it comes to press conferences. That was obvious during Casper Ruud's press conference at the 2023 Italian Open after he lost to Holger Rune in the semifinals.
Players, like any other human beings, have their feelings which are sometimes difficult to hide. However, they sometimes may need to attempt to hide their true feelings, as they may subsequently face backlash for saying things which are not perceived well by the public.
Saying that your opponent maybe used a tactical move is not something that is perceived nicely and that's why players have to tip-toe around it quite often. The thing is, that no one actually knows which moves are tactical and which are not and while we know that we will never know, players are still very cautious about what they say.
And so was also Ruud. After the semifinal loss at the ATP 1000 event in Rome, he was asked about his opponent's medical timeout and whether he saw it as something tactical, given that it was requested at crucial point in the second set.
"I would like to think not, but I don't know. It was for the shoulder. I don't know, when I broke him, he didn't serve particularly slow I think. I don't know. It would only be guessing. But I think if you have pain, you have the right to take the physio."
The Norwegian also admitted that there can be a certain tactical nature to a medical timeout as it can interrupt the player's rhythm, especially when they are about to serve. That's what happened during his match with Rune, but Ruud was very cautious not to accuse his opponent and remained very respectful.
"The rule should maybe be discussed a bit I think because there are many cases where someone takes medical timeout and it's before the opponent's serve, which I know a lot of people kind of dislike a little bit because it can interrupt your rhythm and you have to wait when you're about to serve. I don't know if that's something that might change in the future."
Although Ruud felt like the medical timeout helped his opponent, and eventually said it, he remained very respectful during the press conference, once again repeating that it was completely legal.
"It's completely allowed to take a medical timeout. It seemed like it helped him a lot. He played very, very well in the second and third set coming back. Yeah, if there was pain, sure it obviously helped him a lot I think."