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Casper Ruud came to within one match of becoming the ATP world number one last season when he reached the US Open final.

The final, in which he played Carlos Alcaraz, had high stakes, with the eventual winner taking both their maiden Grand Slam title and the number one spot.

Unfortunately for Ruud, Alcaraz won the match, making him the youngest ever world number one in ATP history.

But getting so close to the prize has left Ruud, who is currently world number three, more motivated than ever and he believes the Australian swing will give him a good chance to do it.

"If there is maybe one time that it could happen again, it's actually in the near future," Ruud said ahead of the inaugural United Cup.

"If I have a good trip I can be in a position (to become number one) again.”

Ruud missed the 2022 Australian Open, meaning he has no ranking points to defend in Melbourne, which will work in his favour. Meanwhile the two players ranked above him, Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz have both had recent injury worries which may affect their performance.

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However, Stefanos Tsitsipas is close behind the young Norwegian in ranking points and will look to try to win his first major and of course Novak Djokovic will be hoping to win his tenth title in Australia too.

Rudd reached two Grand Slam finals in 2022, the US Open and Roland Garros so another final is within his ability, although he says tennis can be highly unpredictable.

"It gives me motivation to keep going and know that you were very close at one time, but maybe that will be the closest you will ever be," Ruud said.

"Maybe you'll get it, and maybe you will be in a close position another time in your career. I think last season has shown me that I have the potential if I continue to do the right things, work hard, I can be in that position again, or it can never happen - you never know in this sport."

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