Casper Ruud on Monday became the first Norwegian to crack the Top 10 of the FedEx ATP Rankings when he climbed to a career-high World No. 10. The 22-year-old is the 173rd player to join the elite group and is now the youngest in the current Top 10.
“I am very excited and happy of course to reach this milestone,” Ruud told ATPTour.com. “It’s something I’ve looked up to and worked hard for for many years. To achieve it is a very nice feeling.”
The Next Gen ATP Finals alumnus made history earlier this year by winning titles in Bastad, Gstaad and Kitzbühel in three consecutive weeks. Ruud was the first player to lift three trophies in as many weeks since Andy Murray did it in October 2011.
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Tennis has been part of Ruud’s life as long as he remembers. His father, Christian Ruud, had a mini-tennis court in their backyard and would help Casper get a feel for the ball from the age of four. It did not take long for Ruud to start dreaming big and following in his father’s footsteps.
“I thought about playing tennis on the big screens around the world,” Ruud said. “It was always on my mind and my dream from eight years old.”
Casper remembers watching tennis on television and his father quizzing him on who was in the world’s Top 10.
“I would pretty much always be on point and know exactly who was in the Top 10,” Casper said. “I think it’s a big milestone, something many players look up to, including myself. I’ve done it for many years. To be able to be part of that group is something very special and something I feel very humbled and proud to be part of.”
Christian reached a career-high of World No. 39. Casper surpassed that mark last February and has now ascended to the upper echelon of the ATP Tour. His father, who is also Casper’s coach, has enjoyed the process.
“It is super fun. He always seems to do small steps, which I know is difficult. He is going one way in the [FedEx ATP] Rankings,” Christian said. “I am surprised he hasn’t had many setbacks. He is steadily going in the right way and I know his goal is to stay up there. I think he is surprising me with how comfortable he is in his position.”
Ruud is happy with his accomplishment, but there is plenty more he wants to achieve in the sport. According to his father, the five-time ATP Tour titlist — a four-time champion this year — has his sights set on the Nitto ATP Finals, to be played at the Pala Alpitour in Turin from 14-21 November.
“It is to reach Turin and finish in the Top 10,” Christian said. “He is focused on getting to the [Nitto] ATP Finals. Without clay, it may be a little bit tougher, but he can play well on hard courts, and mentally he is prepared.”