Casper Ruud Nadal

‘It’s the toughest match of my career’, says Casper Ruud ahead of Rublev test

Norwegian star Casper Ruud admitted his semi-final against Andrey Rublev will be the toughest match of his career to date. 

The 22-year-old, who has already overcome accomplished clay opponents in Pablo Carreno-Busta and Fabio Fognini, said he will prepare for Saturday’s semi-final against Andrey Rublev as if it’s the toughest challenge of his career.

Ruud may have been expected to come up against 11-time champion Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals, though instead faces a totally different proposition in Rublev, who defeated Nadal 6-2 4-6 6-2.

Ahead of his match, the 22-year-old stated: “I just have to prepare well, like it’s the toughest challenge of my career so far. I’m sure it will be. But I’ve gained good confidence from this week. I’ve beaten good players. I have to try to find a way to believe that I can win.

“Tomorrow there has to be one winner of the match, and hopefully it can be me. I will try to relax and get a lot of energy for tomorrow and think that it’s a little bit now or never.”

Despite being just 22 years of age, semi-finals of clay-court tournaments are not uncharted territory for the Norwegian, who will hope to draw upon his experience at the Italian Open semi-finals in October last year, where he fell to Novak Djokovic.

“In Rome, I faced the World No. 1 Djokovic. He is one of the toughest opponents you can have on the Tour. This semi-final will be no different. It will be Rublev, who has won the most ATP Tour matches this year.”

Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.