Roland Garros

Tuesday, 24 May 2022

Paris, France

Casper Ruud

Press Conference

C. RUUD/J.W. Tsonga

6-7, 7-6, 6-2, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: A very tricky first round today. What an atmosphere out there. How do you feel?

CASPER RUUD: Well, it was challenging match and difficult, because of the situation obviously. I think also Jo played very well. He was serving great and playing very powerful and aggressive with his forehand.

Yeah, I think that's been the strongest part of his game for many years, and he still showed a lot of good tennis today. Yeah, he made it challenging for me, because I never was able to kind of get into the maybe rhythm that I like to play and play through the rallies too often.

So I think it was overall a high quality match because we were both serving well and playing well in our serves.

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English.

Q. There is something special in the top 10 by the men. Five of the players has a parent who is his coach. Can you explain me what the role of your father is during your career.

CASPER RUUD: Yeah, he has been my coach and my main coach since I could walk and play tennis. He's always been there. I have had some help from other coaches, firstly in my home club when I was young. I didn't practice with him every day, but we were still doing practices in the weekends together. He obviously had a job in the weekdays, so I was getting some help from other coaches in my club.

Then when I turned 15, 16, I went to Spain to practice in Alicante with a coach whose name is Pedro Rico. But at the same time, my father was still involved because he would come to few tournaments but also talk with Pedro almost every day about how the practice was going. He was still a big part of the team. So he just wanted to stay home a little bit more because he had traveled all his life already -- or not his life, but most part of his life.

I have two sisters who were at the time doing school and he wanted to follow them up a little bit as well. That was the reason that I went to Spain.

Yeah, at the same time he was still very involved. Now he's my main coach and doing most of the travels.

Q. Has it ever felt like extra pressure?

CASPER RUUD: No, not really. I cannot say for certain, because I don't know really like how it is to be coached by just a coach for all your life. But as for our situation, I always felt that my father cared a little bit extra, maybe more than what a coach would care, because it's family, it's blood, it's in the family. So of course you want to see someone in your family succeed and you want to do everything for them.

So that's just a feeling I had with my father who's always helped me and done everything he could for me to, well, of course be where I am today but also succeed as a tennis player and achieve my goals.

Q. The biggest advantage, what is that?

CASPER RUUD: The biggest advantage is that in the years when you are, for me at least, when you are 13 to, you know, 17, 18, there are many other things in life that maybe are more tempting or interesting than tennis, because it's a natural of every youth, I think. But when you have your father around, he's there to make sure that you keep your mind on the right things and focus and don't maybe start going out to parties too much. Of course you are supposed to have a social life outside the tennis court, but it's a very fine line between when it gets too much.

Those years are the years as an athlete in any sport that you are defining what type of player you want to be, and you're putting in a lot of hours and work to hopefully when you are 18, 19, and you have become a man that you are done a lot of good work and stayed serious.

It starts very young when you are an athlete. Then you lead this professional life, or at least in my case and the other ones I know as well, that from your 12, 13, you are living like a pro athlete so it starts very early.

Q. Next match against Ruusuvuori. Can you tell me about your thoughts and if it makes a difference because you have trained with him and you know him well.

CASPER RUUD: I think I look forward to it. We have played two times before, and quite recently, as well, in Barcelona. It went in my favor. Both times it did, and I think I have a good idea of what I need to do against him. But at the same time he's a very dangerous player, he has big weapons, big serve, good groundstrokes.

So I think if you are not on top of your game, he will, you know, hunt you down and eat you alive, because, like I said, he's a powerful player.

But hopefully I can, you know, take advantage that we are playing here best-of-five sets on clay. At least from what I think I know, I think maybe clay is not his preferred surface, so I will try to use that as an advantage if I can.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
120652-1-1063 2022-05-24 16:57:00 GMT

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