Casper Ruud - Roland Garros 2022

Casper Ruud felt ‘clueless’ against Nadal as he makes Djokovic comparison

Casper Ruud has spoken about facing the two remaining active members of the ‘big three’, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, revealing how he has struggled against both.

Ruud, who is a product of the Rafael Nadal academy, reached two Grand Slam finals last year but fell short on both occasions.

One of those matches was to that of his hero Nadal losing, 6-3 6-3 6-0, in the Roland Garros final.

The Norwegian spoke of his difficulties against the Spaniard, “Rafa on clay has been the one that really, I felt clueless what to do and chanceless as well.”

He continued, “It was really a one-way show, we played at Roland-Garros last year, and particularly best-of-five sets is really difficult.”

The ATP No.4 has also had a lot of issues against Novak Djokovic, being winless, and although he praised the Serb suggested that playing Nadal was his toughest battle.

“Not taking anything away from Novak because whenever it is important on a hard court, he steps up,” Ruud said. “He’ll break you or play some unreal rally.”

“But just the general feeling every point being thrown at you with an incredible amount of top spin and how Rafa just locks you in one corner…”

Ruud added, “You feel like you’re on his home ground and in his backyard. For me, they are some of the most difficult opponents I’ve ever played.”

Casper Ruud’s head-to-head vs Nadal and Djokovic

Casper Ruud is winless in his six meetings with Nadal and Djokovic, with the matches being a 50/50 split between indoor hard courts and the Norwegian’s preferred outdoor clay courts.

Djokovic and Nadal have been so dominant against Ruud that they are both yet to drop a set.

Ruud vs Nadal: 0-2

Last meeting (2022) – Nadal beat Ruud, 7-5 7-5 (ATP Finals Round-Robin)

Ruud vs Djokovic: 0-4 

Last meeting (2022) – Djokovic beat Ruud, 7-5 6-3 (ATP Finals Final)

Ruud reached the Miami Open final last year, losing to Carlos Alcaraz, and will be looking to go one better at the other half of the sunshine double.

The 24-year-old beat Diego Schwartzman to reach the third round where he will play Chilean Cristian Garin, who he has a negative win-loss record against.

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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.