The “dog days of summer” clichés couldn’t come in greater handy now that Casper Ruud has made the genius decision to take primo pupper Bajas on tour with him through the summer clay swing.

A Maltese-Shih Tzu mix, Bajas found his forever home at the end of 2020 when he was adopted by Ruud and girlfriend Maria Galligani, and quickly made his Instagram debut with the suave handle @don_bajas.

Since Bajas joined the Ruud clan, papa Casper has made quite a name for himself on tour, culminating with his first major final earlier this spring at Roland Garros, where he finished second to idol Rafael Nadal.


The run helped Ruud earn a career-high ranking of No. 5, and looks to be making the most of a stint between Wimbledon and the North American hard-courts as he brings baby Bajas on the road for stops in Båstad and Gstaad.

It was at these tournaments last year that—much to rival Nick Kyrgios’ chagrin—the 22-year-old amassed an impressive win-streak and rack up three titles that ultimately helped him secure a maiden berth at the ATP Finals in Turin.

With a more front-loaded point total that already has Ruud ranked No. 4 behind Nadal, Stefanos Tsitsipas, and Carlos Alcaraz, Ruud can take a more relaxed approach on his favorite surface, shaking off a first-round defeat to Francisco Cerundolo in Båstad to arrive as the top seed in Gstaad, where Czech Jiri Lehecka awaits.

Will Ruud reclaim his dogged determination in time for a US Open campaign or will what's left of his season go utterly to the dogs? There may be many dog puns, but there is only one Don Bajas.