Casper Ruud will face Rafael Nadal on Sunday afternoon in the men’s singles final of the Roland-Garros tournament. A highlight for the Norwegian who will play his first Grand Slam final against his idol with whom he trains regularly. For his part, Nadal dreams of a 14th coronation on clay.
The unprecedented men’s singles final at Roland-Garros will pit young Norwegian Casper Ruud against his childhood idol, Rafael Nadal, on Sunday afternoon. The first final at Porte d’Auteuil won by the Spaniard in 2005 is Casper Ruud’s first memory of playing tennis on television. At this time, the Norwegian is 7 years old, the Spaniard 19 years old. If time has passed, Nadal has remained Ruud’s idol: “I think I’ve seen all the finals where he played and where he won.”
A first Grand Slam final for Ruud
“This time, I will be there when I saw other players in my place, Federer, Djokovic, Thiem, Wawrinka…”, he says. Trained by his father Christian, former 39th in the world, Casper Ruud is a true earthling, a clay court specialist, who passed through Rafael Nadal’s Tennis Academy in the Balearic Islands. “He’s a good guy, he has a good family,” explains the Mallorcan. “And of course, on the court, I fully respect that.”
If Nadal and Ruud have ever trained together in Mallorca, this will be their first competitive clash on Sunday afternoon. A double first for Ruud who has never yet played in a Grand Slam final when Nadal won the 13 he has already played at Roland-Garros.