He is Norwegian, but he has been training in Spain for the last three years. Casper Ruud’s win on Thursday over Stefanos Tsitsipas in the third round of the Mutua Madrid Open is something of a local triumph as the victor is a student at the Rafa Nadal Academy.
The world No. 22 beat the Greek fourth seed on the Arantxa Sánchez court in two sets (7-6 (4), 6-4) after one hour and 33 minutes, to reach the quarter-finals in the Caja Mágica for the first time in his career.
After the match, the 22-year-old player acknowledged that the work he is doing in Manacor (Mallorca) has “definitely helped me a lot because it's been good for me to getdifferent views of my game from not only my father helping me”.
On Pedro Clar, his coach at the 20-time Grand Slam winner’s academy, Ruud said that the ex-player is “more involved now and travelling together, staying with me at my big tournaments and wins such as Buenos Aires and Rome last year and actually here in Madrid”.
✔️ Victoria vs Top 5
🇳🇴 @CasperRuud98 se asegura una plaza en el Top 20🔥
— #MMOPEN (@MutuaMadridOpen) May 6, 2021
“I started in the academy with Tomeu Salvà but he is now Jaume Munar’s coach like Toni Nadal, who helped me but now is working with Felix Auger-Aliassime”, said the Scandinavian tennis sensation.
The 2020 Argentina Open champion also said that Rafael Nadal “has helped me a lot in the last few years but now I’m at a point in my career that we can play each other every week and I’m more now maybe competition for him than just a student in his academy”.
Having reached the penultimate round last year in Rome and recently in Monte Carlo, the player from Oslo will be looking to repeat his ATP Masters 1000 best on Friday against Alexander Bublik.
The Kazakh player comes into the match having knocked out Aslan Karatsev, one of the surprise packages of the tournament. The world No. 44 beat the Russian in two sets in the first match of the day (6-4, 6-3) in one hour and fourteen minutes.