INTERVIEW: Casper Ruud, after his third-round win in Toronto

Casper Ruud is competing for every point, and winning a lot of them.

The 22-year-old from Norway is coming off three straight title wins at European clay-court events in Bastad, Gstaad and Kitzbuhel, hitting No. 12 in the rankings. This week, Ruud is playing the ATP Masters hard-court event in Toronto, and kept winning. He'll face Stefanos Tsitsipas in Friday's quarterfinal stage.

He's no clay specialist, he argues.

"I think it's fun to play on hard courts, you know," he told press at Toronto, where he defeated Dusan Lajovic to reach the quarters. "I think it's a surface that also can suit my game even though this year has been mainly clay, clay, clay all the year.

"So I think I'm motivated to come back to the hard courts. I have had two very good matches here. It's a great start for me to the hard court swing."




Ruud has played nine events on clay this season, and is playing just his eighth on another surface. But even if he's playing on another type of court, he doesn't plan on changing his game.

"I think just the whole year I have been able to produce, you know, steady tennis. I'm not, you know, the guy with the biggest game or the flashy shots. But, you know, just being steady, playing every points like it really matters, I think has been working," he said.

Ruud says that competitive, consistent approach has been helped by his training at the Rafa Nadal Academy in Mallorca.

"That's something that, you know, they are very strict on now at the Nadal Academy. That's kind of his mentality," he said, noting that while he dropped five-setters at the French Open and Wimbledon, he's also been to earn many wins in a row. "So there have been some big matches that those points didn't go my way but also many matches where it did."

"So of course for now I'm very happy with the season, and I'm on a 13-match winning streak. I'm trying to enjoy it. It's not probably many times in your career that you will experience something like it."