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“I didn’t win, he beat me there as well”- Casper Ruud on his golfing rivalry with Rafael Nadal

Miami Open runner up Casper Ruud recalls his experience of playing golf with Rafael Nadal.

Rafael Nadal and Casper Ruud

Casper Ruud’s fairytale run at the 2022 Miami Open came to an end with a defeat in hands of Carlos Alcaraz in the finals. The 6th seed defeated two top 10 seeds en route to the finals, but came short in the title clash, losing 7-5, 6-4 to the Spaniard.

Nevertheless, it was a spirited run from the 23-year-old as he scripted history with his run in Miami. He became the first Norwegian to reach a Masters 1000 finals. Ruud was earlier criticized for his dismal record on other surfaces barring clay courts and didn’t even win a match in the main draw in Miami prior to this season. But he proved his naysayers wrong with a stunning performance in Miami, and his first Masters final being on hardcourts is a testament to his resilience.

The Norwegian was not only elated about reaching the Masters final in Miami but also excited for the upcoming Augusta Masters– one of golf’s four major tournaments, which begins on April 7th. Ruud is an avid golf fan and is often seen on the lush greens of golf courses during his time away from tennis.

“I have always watched The Masters in golf, and obviously it’s coming up next week and I can’t wait for it to watch on TV again. It’s fun, because I will probably be here in the country while it’s ongoing, in Houston next week at the tournament. Yeah, they show it all over TV, so it’s a perfect place to watch The Masters,” Ruud said during the press conference ahead of the finals.

He’s a very tough competitor“: Casper Ruud recalls playing golf with Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal

Ruud was also asked whether he played golf with Rafael Nadal, another avid golf fan. The Norwegian said he did have a face-off with Nadal in Mallorca, but lost. He added that the Spaniard was a very tough competitor and he has the same mentality when he is on the golf courses and tennis courts.

“Yes, I have. Played with him a couple of times in Mallorca. He’s a very good golfer, and… No, I didn’t win. He beat me there as well. He’s a very, very tough competitor. Honestly, like, a bit tough to play with, because he doesn’t say much because he’s so focused. Usually on the golf course you are laughing a little bit and joking around. With him, it’s no jokes,” he added.

Ruud was initially scheduled to kick off his clay-court season at the U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championships in Houston but withdrew from the tournament citing issues with his wisdom teeth. He will next be seen in action at the Monte Carlo Masters, which begins on April 10th.

Also read: ‘I tried to fight fire with fire,’ Casper Ruud shares how he wanted to be aggressive against Carlos Alcaraz in the Miami Masters finals