To Win At Least One Challenger Tournament During The Season - Casper Ruud

Tennis - Season Bets - 21 Nov 10:00

Casper Ruud is a young talent from Norway who turns 18 tomorrow. He started 2016 as the number 1 ranked junior and 1139 in the emirates ATP rankings. He finished ranked 225, over a 900 rank jump.

He's a very talented player, with excellent technique and tennis IQ. He doesn't seem the most powerful of players but is only 18 and has time to fill out. Besides, he's clearly conscious of his strengths and weaknesses and plays to them well, moving players around the court and making very few unforced errors rather than trying to hit with power he doesn't posses. David Ferrer made a top 10 career doing just that.

He's only played a handful on matches at the Challenger level or above. Most of this ranking jump came when he won his debut Challenger title. Only a handful a players have achieved this feat including Richard Gasquet. That gives a sense of the quality it takes to win your debut Challenger.

If you look at Ruud's Twitter, his bio is '17 and chasing my dream'. He has also been training with Kyle Edmund and world number 1 Andy Murray in Miami for the off season. Immediately we get a sense that Ruud is both ambitious and hard working.

This is where Murray trains every year and it is notoriously intense. Kyle Edmund trained with Murray last off season. He then had a break through season in 2016 jumping from 102 to 45. He later spoke of the experience:

"I'm very fortunate that he has allowed me to come into his environment and shared stuff with his team and stay with him. It's good that he has opened up to me and let me learn from him. It's definitely helped me get better, that's for sure."

Training with Murray clearly has a big impact on younger players in terms of fitness, confidence and motivation. They see how hard the world number 1 trains and what he has achieved, and they naturally feel inspired to train harder and harder themselves.

Casper is also the son of former world number 39 Christian Ruud. He's clearly got support in the tennis world and should feel confident and excited going into 2017. He's already won a Challenger title and I would throughly expect him to win at least one more over the course of a year.
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