“Losing is not my enemy…fear of losing is my enemy.”- said by none other than the 20-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal. Needless to say, Spaniard is a source of motivation for thousands of young people globally. However, the Norwegian No.1 Casper Ruud reveals that he has been a fan of King of Clay ever since he started watching tennis.
The former World No.24 Casper Ruud, the first Norwegian ever to win an ATP title, was invited by Beyond The Baseline Tennis Podcast. Therein he spoke about his rise in the past year’s ranking, his training with Rafael Nadal in Mallorca, the Big 3 of men’s game, etc.
Rafael Nadal Is My Biggest Idol, says Casper Ruud
When asked about Rafael Nadal, Ruud reminisced that Spaniard was the first tennis player he watched on television and is one reason for becoming a professional tennis player.
“Rafa is one of the best of all time… I’ve been a fan of him ever since I started watching tennis. He’s my biggest idol and the one I admired the most among all the players. I remember he was the first one I watched on television. That’s one of the reasons I really wanted to make a professional career.” Ruud replied.
World No.25 from Oslo has been practised several times at Rafa Nadal Academy, especially the returned balls to Spanish tennis legend.
Ruud once explained why he is coming to Mallorca that it’s motivating to have Nadal there and even Uncle Toni Nadal coming to the practices and pushing him a bit more. And he would be surrounded by outstanding players.
Ruud continued, “training with him(Nadal) was a great motivation… Even s ‘he won almost everything, he is extremely humble and works hard today as he did 15 years ago.”
While Rafael Nadal is waiting for the clay court season, Casper Ruud is looking forward to the next tournament after a quarterfinal walkover at the Acapulco Open 2021.