Tennis

Casper Ruud – Why Is He Underperforming on the Clay?

Of all the hot prospects on the ATP Tour right now, Casper Ruud is known as one of the best clay-court contenders out there. I certainly agree with this popular opinion too. But so far in 2022, he hasn’t exactly blown the tour away during the clay-court tournaments. Sure, we’ve only had two main clay-court tournaments so far that Ruud has played in. But many people expected him to be competing for trophies, not losing to players that he should be dispatching with ease.

Ruud Clay

Looking back at his results during the clay-court swing, he made the round of 16 in Monte Carlo and the quarters in Barcelona. In 2021, he actually made the semi-finals of Monte Carlo, and he clearly fell short of repeating this during the 2022 event. With that said, he is certainly one of the most talented guys out there right now. And he did manage to make the final of the Miami Masters, a 1,000 event, just weeks ago.

That aside, many Ruud fans must be concerned about how he is performing on the clay. This is even more concerning given that Roland Garros is a little over a month away. So what’s going wrong for Ruud and will he turn it around? 

Casper’s Clay Court Problems Explained

Although he hasn’t performed as well as expected so far, I don’t think it’s quite time to sound the alarm bells yet. After all, we still have at least two or three important clay-court events to play before Roland Garros arrives. This includes two Masters events – Rome and Madrid. So will he turn things around? I believe so, but we can still look at how things currently stand for Ruud:

Inconsistency

I’ve watched Ruud competing at each of the previous clay-court events, and one major problem I’ve seen is inconsistency. On his day, Ruud is one of the most solid players out there. He rips the ball on both wings, with heavy spin to create plenty of margin for error. Ruud is also rapid on the court, making his opponents go for the lines, often resulting in mistakes. But he seems to be making the errors right now. This needs to be tightened up moving forward.

Misfortune Against Players in Red Hot Form

This is something I definitely need to point out. In Monte Carlo, Ruud lost to Grigor Dimitrov, who was playing fantastic tennis throughout that week. Dimitrov made the semi-finals before losing to Davidovich-Fokina. And then in Barcelona, he lost against Carreno-Busta. However, he actually had three match points in this one. Busta got the win and moved on to the finals, showing great form.

Predictions – Semi-finals of at Least One Masters Ahead of the French

In all honesty, I feel that Ruud is too good to let this clay-court funk bother him too much. And moving into the other Masters events, I truly believe that he will show his abilities once again. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he made at least the semi-finals in one of these events, if not both. And to conclude, I definitely feel that he is a contender for the French Open!

About the author

Gavin Davison

Gavin is a full-time copywriter based in the United Kingdom. He has previously played NCAA college tennis in the USA and competed in many international events throughout his younger days. He still plays competitively and follows both the ATP & WTA Tours closely. His favourite player is Roger Federer.

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