John McEnroe felt that Casper Ruud was «totally overwhelmed thinking about playing Rafael Nadal on clay» during this year’s French Open final. Ruud, 23, reached his first Grand Slam final at this year’s French Open.
Ruud didn’t really have much of a chance against Nadal, as the Spaniard defeated the Norwegian 6-3, 6-3, 6-0. On Friday, Ruud defeated Karen Khachanov in four sets to reach the US Open final. «So this is an incredible effort.
I think at the French Open I was totally overwhelmed thinking about playing Rafael Nadal on clay, who wouldn’t be? But now he seems to be playing even better than in the French Open, and he must think that he has a great chance to win this.
I saw him up close at the Laver Cup last year and his serve was bigger than I thought and he hits a bigger ball. But I didn’t see it coming, that it would be so good on hard courts,» McEnroe told Eurosport.
McEnroe praises Ruud’s game and personality
McEnroe admits that Ruud may not be flashy, but he’s definitely someone who works hard and knows how to get the job done.
«He’s amazing, he’s humble,» McEnroe said of Ruud. «He’s not going to burn down the stadium. He doesn’t have the charisma of Carlos Alcaraz or Frances Tiafoe, but he is a credit to our game. He’s extremely solid, he works hard.
He has spent a lot of time in recent years in Nadal’s academy, watching the way he does his thing. That helped him realize he had to do even more.» In the US Open final, Ruud plays Carlos Alcaraz. A few months earlier, Ruud suffered a straight loss to Alcaraz in the Miami Masters final. Remains to be seen. if Ruud can beat Alcaraz and lift his first Grand Slam title.