In less than two weeks’ time, Norway’s Casper “The Ice Man” Ruud will take to the courts of Oslo and attempt to win a UTS event in front of his home fans.
Ahead of what will be one of the biggest ever tennis tournaments in Norway, Ruud and his father, Christian, sat down with us for a UTS Double Take.
The Norwegians shared about how they first knew Ruud was good at tennis, what his worst match was, and some of their special moments together as a father-son duo.
The moment that Ruud knew tennis was for him
When asked when Ruud first began to love tennis, both Christian Ruud pinpoints the exact moment.
“When he was 10 or 11 years old, and first began winning tournaments,” explained Christian. “His feeling after he won tournaments… He was so happy.”
Ruud agreed, elaborating about exactly what that feeling of success did inside of him as a young man.
“[It] gave me a feeling that if you work hard and do something, you get a prize for it, you know. It values the fact that you’re doing well. And that was, in a way, motivating at a young age,” said Ruud.
Success soon came for Ruud in a big way, when he made the final of the European Championship.
“He was not seeded,” Christian said. “And he reached the final.”
Ruud explained that this result gave him “a real feeling that [he was] doing something right” and that he was “one of the kids in Europe who are doing quite well.”
“I was looking at the results from previous years,” continued Christian, “there was Murray, Djokovic… a lot of big names who were in the final previously.”
The Ice Man’s best and worst moments revealed
Casper and Christian have been through some highs and lows as a father-son duo, with both revealing some of their best and worst memories on the tennis court.
“I was not there when Casper won his first title, which is always special,” said Christian. “But I think it was the French Open final against Rafa. Even though we lost, I think that it was very emotional to really reach there. The goal that year was at least to play a quarter-final in a Grand Slam and he played a final.
“I think that is something special that I will always remember.”
Agreeing with his father, Ruud elaborates that, “when I saw him after the match, we were very happy and proud of each other. Proud of the journey we had together, and the work that we had done and the success we had achieved.”
But it hasn’t been all highs, as the pair reflect on one of the lowest moments of Ruud’s career.
“It was against [Jan-Lennard] Struff in Monte-Carlo I would say,” reveals Christian, referring to the match where Stuff eliminated Ruud 6-1, 7-6 in the round of 16 at the Monte-Carlo Masters.
Ruud brings up another tough time the two have shared, saying “I lost a really tough match in 2023 against Arthur Fils. I didn’t play horrible, but I was losing really bad, so it was a bad feeling. I lost one set 6-0.”
The Ice Man will be hoping he brings a better level on February 9 to 11 at Telenor Arena in Oslo. He’ll have some hot competition at UTS Oslo, with the likes of Holger “The Viking” Rune and Andrey “Rublo” Rublev also in attendance.