Ruud Pays Tribute To Rafael Nadal After Winning His First ATP 500 Title On His Court

Ruud Pays Tribute To Rafael Nadal After Winning His First ATP 500 Title On His Court

by Zachary Wimer

Casper Ruud won his first ATP 500 trophy on the court named after Rafael Nadal, and he paid tribute to the Spaniard after his win.

Ruud put together an amazing week in Barcelona, where Nadal reigned supreme for years. The Spaniard basically never missed the event and won it 12 times, which is why the main court at the event is named Pista Rafa Nadal.

Ruud battled Stefanos Tsitsipas on that court on Sunday in the Barcelona Open final and outplayed him to win his maiden ATP 500 trophy. After that, he paid tribute to Nadal, whom he idolized growing up.

It's well known that Ruud attended his academy and has a pretty similar style to Nadal. He also favors clay, much like his idol, so winning a trophy at this event on a court that is named after him surely meant a lot to him.

"I’m super happy to do it here in Barcelona in front of a packed stadium and on Rafa Nadal Court. It’s special to me because I looked up to him all my childhood, came here myself as a 13-year-old boy to watch him and the others play here. It’s a great feeling."

This was a rematch from last week's Monte-Carlo Masters final, where they also played in the final. That time around, Tsitsipas easily won, and now it was time for Ruud to pay him back.

The Norwegian snapped Tsitsipas' 10-match winning streak and explained after the match what was different in that match compared to last week.

"Just to kind of [bring] it to him a little bit more than last week. In the final in Monte-Carlo I was always on the back foot, too far behind, and he had too much time to control the game."

Both will now look ahead to the Madrid Open unless they pull out. Funnily enough, they played once at that event as well.


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