Casper Ruud - Australian Open 2024

Casper Ruud claims he is ‘back on track’ despite final loss

Casper Ruud appears positive about his week at the Monte Carlo Masters, despite continuing the winless run at finals above ATP 250 level.

Ruud lost to Stefanos Tsitsipas, 1-6 4-6, who claimed his third title in four years at the Monte Carlo tournament.

This was the Norwegian’s seventh consecutive loss above ATP 250 level, suffering defeats in three Grand Slam finals, two Masters 1000 finals, the ATP Finals final and one ATP 500 final.

Although Ruud suffered another loss in a big final, the 25-year-old has admitted that he feels closer to his best after a drop off in results in 2023.

“Obviously we cannot go back in time, but one year and a half ago, like you said, I was maybe not a few points but quite close to winning or I played at least the final in US Open and was fairly close to become world No 1,” said Ruud.

“That year for me was fantastic. 2023 was a bit of a disappointment compared to 2022, but coming into 2023 I was prepared for, you know, it’s going to be a really tough year because I have a lot of results to try to defend, and hopefully you always want to do better but it’s not always easy.

The three-time major finalist added, “This year I’m feeling like I’m a little bit more back on track, I play a little bit more loose, not too much to lose anymore.”

Casper Ruud - Instagram 2024

Ruud has also suggested that he should give himself more credit, having become the highest ranked Norwegian player in history (world No.2) back in 2022.

“I have achieved, sometimes, when I think about it, more things than I thought was possible in my career, but by doing that you also want to chase and push for even more,” explained Ruud. “Obviously a Grand Slam or ATP 1000 is the next big dream, big goal of mine. Today I was able to play a final of a [ATP] 1000. Wasn’t able to win, so I will continue to chase and try to improve my game always.”

He continued, “I have taken a few small steps I think in the right direction last six months tennis-wise, physically also, and I think we are doing something right, and hopefully can continue on this positive trend that I’m in.”

Ruud will continue his clay court season at the Barcelona Open this week, where he will play either Alexandre Muller or wildcard Albert Ramos-Vinolas in the second round after receiving a bye as the third seed.

Inside the baseline…

Casper Ruud is definitely having a better season this year, but his success on clay courts is almost expected. What has been more impressive is the form that he has produced on hard courts, having already won five more matches on the surface this year compared to the entirety of 2023. Ruud’s week at the Monte Carlo Masters has been very impressive, especially his semi-final victory over world No.1 Novak Djokovic, but the Norwegian does need to change something about the way he plays big finals as it was quite a lacklustre performance yesterday against Stefanos Tsitsipas.

READ MORE: Stefanos Tsitsipas claims third Monte Carlo Masters title ‘is more special than the first or second’

 Join >> Receive $700/£600 of tennis gear from the Tennishead CLUB

 Social >> FacebookTwitter & YouTube

 Read >> World’s best tennis magazine

 Shop >> Lowest price tennis gear from our trusted partner 

Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.