‘Rafael Nadal is the player I look up to most of all,’ says young ATP ace

Casper Ruud has described Rafael Nadal as his ‘biggest idol,’ revealing the Spaniard is one of the reasons he wanted to play tennis. 

Ruud is currently the world number 25, and most experts expect him to climb higher than that in the coming years.

As the son of former player Christian Ruud he has tennis in his DNA, but it was Rafael Nadal who inspired him most of all.

“Rafa is one of the greatest of all time,” Ruud told the Beyond the Baseline podcast. “I’ve been a fan of him since I started watching tennis. He’s been my biggest idol and the one that I look up to the most of all the players.

“I remember he was probably the first I watched on TV, and I was dreaming of being on TV myself, playing big tournaments and big matches.

“So he’s one of the reasons I really wanted to go for a professional career, and I remember even from a young age, when you’re 8 or 10 years old, its just a dream, but then you reach 12, 13, 14 and it becomes more of a realisation.”

Despite studying him on television, Ruud says there is no substitute for seeing Nadal up close and personal, and he is grateful to have had the chance to do just that.

“I’ve observed him for many years, especially getting a chance to go to Mallorca to see him up close and personal and practice with him, its been a very big motivation,” the 22-year-old explained.

“I think I’ve learned the most that even though how much he’s won, he’s still extremely humble and works as hard today as he did 15 years ago.

“He wants to go for more and more and that’s one of the things that define him as a tennis player; how hard of a worker he is, how humble he is and how determined he is to become a better player all the time.”

Please follow Tennisbuzz on Twitter and Instagram, and you can like us on Facebook by clicking here.

For more exclusive content from Tennisbuzz, including news, features, trivia, promotions and more, please be sure to sign up for our newsletter below or via our home page.

Why not test your tennis knowledge by tackling one of our fiendish quizzes too?

Other News

Rafael Nadal has prompted ‘unprecedented interest’ in Citi Open, says tournament chief

Rafael Nadal has 'the whole town buzzing' for his first ever appearance at the Citi Open, says the event's tournament director.Nadal skipped Wimbledon and...

‘There is nothing better than this,’ declares Alexander Zverev as he wins Olympics gold

Alexander Zverev says the is 'nothing better' than winning an Olympics gold medal after he heat Karen Khachanov in the final.Zverev became the first...

Olympic bronze medal is ‘best title of my career,’ says Pablo Carreno Busta after Novak Djokovic upset

Pablo Carreno Busta described his Olympics bronze medal as 'the best title of his career' after beating Novak Djokovic.Carreno Busta faced the world number...

‘This is for Roger Federer and Martina Hingis,’ says Olympics gold medal winner Belinda Bencic

Belinda Bencic won the women's singles gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics before dedicating it to compatriots Martina Hingis and Roger Federer.Bencic was not...

‘I have played with pain and exhaustion,’ admits Novak Djokovic after Olympics disappointment

Novak Djokovic revealed he is suffering from 'abnormal pain and exhaustion' after he left the Olympics without a medal.Djokovic lost his semi-final to Alexander...

‘I feel terrible,’ admits Novak Djokovic as bid for Golden Slam ends in Tokyo

Novak Djokovic says he 'feels terrible' after his loss to Alexander Zverev in the Olympics semi-finals.The world number one started the match brilliantly and...

Subscribe to our newsletter

Don't miss a thing from Tennisbuzz - get all the latest tennis news, exclusive content and competitions, and tennis trivia teasers all delivered to your inbox.

Related articles

Leave a reply

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here