Why Casper Ruud Could Enter 2024 French Open As Top Favourite

Why Casper Ruud Could Enter 2024 French Open As Top Favourite

by Nurein Ahmed

Casper Ruud will play in his sixth Roland Garros main draw this year, and this might be his best chance yet to win his first Grand Slam.

The Norwegian has been a finalist at the clay Slam twice, losing in the 2022 final to Rafael Nadal and the 2023 final to Novak Djokovic. There's no shame in coming out second best against two of the greatest players of all time, but Ruud must have an anxious thought at the back of his mind.

Has he spurned his chance of winning a major? Lest we forget, he also lost the 2022 US Open final to a young Carlos Alcaraz. But there are a few reasons why Ruud should not panic. In fact, he might enter this year's French Open as the top favorite, and here's why:

Great track record in Paris

As stated at the top of the article, Ruud is a two-time runner-up at Roland Garros. The last time he lost before the second week at the tournament was in 2021.

Since then, he's been a consistent force in Paris, beating fellow rivals Holger Rune and Alexander Zverev. With a potentially favorable draw now that he'll be a top-10 seed, Ruud will expect to reach the second week at the very least.

Rivals dominance waning

For many years, Rafael Nadal has dominantly won the French Open, winning a record 14 titles. But he has major doubts about playing this year. In fact, since beating Ruud to win his 22nd major in 2022, Nadal has not set foot on his beloved Court Philippe Chatrier.

Ruud's competition will likely include familiar names such as Novak Djokovic, Carlos Alcaraz, Jannik Sinner, and Danil Medvedev. But the quartet are each struggling for form or good health before the second Grand Slam of the season.

Rediscovered form and confidence

Casper Ruud fell out of the Top 10 at the end of last year, and some critics exaggerated that he might have hit his ceiling. But having started the new year on a clean slate, it hasn't taken him long to rediscover that winning feeling and return to the ATP's elite band.

No player has played more ATP finals (four) than the 25-year-old this year, and those naysayers who wrote the obituaries of his career's decline have no place to hide, especially now that he has won a tour-level title above 250 (Barcelona).


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