Can Ruud improve his record to win French Open?

Casper Ruud has slowly risen up the men’s tennis world rankings and appears to be poised for a breakthrough season at the Grand Slams. The Norwegian reached the final of his first ATP 1000 Tour event at the Miami Open, only to lose out at the hands of the rising star of Carlos Alcaraz in straight-sets. Ruud has won seven crowns in the 250 Series on the ATP Tour, but the grand stage has proven to be a tad overwhelming for the 23-year-old at this stage of his career.

However, the floodgates could be about to open due to his consistency and temperament on the court compared to his rivals. He will be hopeful of drifting under the radar at the Grand Slams in 2022, although he is backed in the odds for tennis betting online at +2000 to win the French Open. Ruud will have to contend with Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Alcaraz, so he will have to raise the level of his game. The encouraging aspect regarding Ruud’s form has been an incremental improvement with each passing tournament. He is learning and reacting from his mistakes, therefore, he will have a great chance to compete for the crown at Roland Garros.

The 23-year-old has an excelled record on clay, winning 66.23% of his matches. It is his best surface, which is proven by the fact that six of his seven ATP Tour title wins have come on clay, including the Argentina Open in February. Ruud had a difficult match in the final of the Argentina Open when he faced off against home favourite Diego Schwartzman. Ruud was put on the back foot by the Argentine and lost the first set before he was able to rally to clinch the title in three sets. It was a strong performance and provided momentum for his run in Miami that was undone by the brilliance of Alcaraz.

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Ruud has had issues against the leading players of the game, although not Nadal, who he is yet to face on the ATP Tour. The Norwegian has lost both of his matches against Djokovic, including the semi-finals of the Rome Masters in 2020 on clay in straight sets. Ruud has also lost all three of his matches against Daniil Medvedev, while the first experience against Alcaraz, who is seemingly on the trajectory to replace Nadal as Spain’s number one man, was another humbling one for Ruud to take.

He has all the attributes to succeed on clay and other surfaces, but needs to raise the level of his game. Ruud missed the Australian Open due to an ankle injury, while his last Grand Slam ended in a very disappointing defeat at the hands of qualifier Botic van de Zandschulp in the second round of the US Open. The 23-year-old has been on his mettle since recovering from his ankle injury and has potential to compete for multiple honours at the top of the sport, but he needs to start proving his talent against his contemporaries in the top 10.

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