"I felt clueless" - Ruud shares challenges against Nadal on clay and Djokovic on hard courts

"I felt clueless" - Ruud shares challenges against Nadal on clay and Djokovic on hard courts

by Alex Waite

Last updated

Casper Ruud has explained the difficulties of facing Rafael Nadal on clay and Novak Djokovic on hard courts ahead of the Indian Wells tournament.

Ruud has faced Nadal and Djokovic a combined six times in his career and failed to win any match against the pair. The Norwegian also faced Nadal in the 2022 French Open final and lost the match in straight sets.

Speaking ahead of his second-round clash against Argentinian Diego Schwartzman at Indian Wells, Ruud reflected on his final clash with Nadal last year and felt he was second-best against the 22-time Grand Slam champion.

"Rafa on clay has been the one that really, I felt clueless what to do and chanceless as well, It was really a one-way show, we played at Roland-Garros last year, and particularly best-of-five sets is really difficult."

Ruud said in his Indian Wells press conference

Ruud went on to speak about his previous clashes with world number one Novak Djokovic. The Norwegian player was particularly full of praise for how the Serbian handles his matches on hard courts.

"Not taking anything away from Novak because whenever it is important on a hard court, he steps up, He'll break you or play some unreal rally."

When speaking about both of the players together, Ruud explained that no other player he has faced matches the level of quality.

"But just the general feeling every point being thrown at you with an incredible amount of top spin and how Rafa just locks you in one corner. You feel like you're on his home ground and in his backyard. For me, they are some of the most difficult opponents I've ever played."

24-year-old Ruud has had a tough start to the 2023 season. The 2022 French Open finalist was knocked out in the second round of the Australian Open by US player Jenson Brooksby before losing to Taro Daniel in the round of 16 at the Mexican Open.


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