Casper Ruud - Roland Garros 2023

Casper Ruud reveals ‘main goal’ for the clay court season

Casper Ruud has advanced to the Monte Carlo Masters quarter-finals for only the second time in his career, and has revealed that he is expecting ‘a little bit more’ from himself this year.

Ruud beat Estoril champion Hubert Hurkacz, 6-4 6-2, yesterday in Monte Carlo and after the match spoke about his aim is to advance to at least the quarter-final of every clay court tournament.

“I’m looking for more steady results,” said Ruud. “I told myself that I would like to reach the quarter-final or better every time I show up to a tournament on the clay – that’s kind of the main goal for the clay season. If that’s, five, six quarterfinals in a row, I’ll take it but of course you want to go even deeper.”

The Norwegian is known for his clay court prowess, having won 24 more tour-level matches on the surface than any other ATP player since 2020 (96).

Ruud has also reached the Roland Garros final in both of the past two years, and nine of his 10 career titles have come on the dirt.

Despite having nine clay court titles, Ruud has never won a tournament above ATP 250 level and appears to be expecting more of himself this year.

“I’ve kind of set that as a little minimum to try to come in with a different mentality this year and expect a little bit more for myself,” revealed the 25-year-old. “I’ve had a few good results in the past on clay, obviously Roland Garros twice in a row with a really great result, that gives me confidence to say these things that I am going to try to do well in every clay tournament.

“Sometimes you have to say certain things, that you believe in yourself, and I have gained a lot of self-belief after a few results in my career already. I’m getting older and there are more young guys coming.”

Ruud will look to advance to his eighth Masters 1000 semi-final later today, when he takes on Frenchman Ugo Humbert.

Inside the baseline…

Casper Ruud is definitely one of the best clay court players on the tour, however this has not transitioned into winning big titles yet. That being said, it is certainly plausible that Ruud could go onto win the Monte Carlo Masters this week. However, first he will have to overcome his poor head-to-head against Ugo Humbert, having lost three of four meetings against the Frenchman.

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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.