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"Carlos has sort of a mixture of both; He's a hard nut to crack" - Casper Ruud on how Carlos Alcaraz possesses attributes of both Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic

Casper Ruud analyzes Carlos Alcaraz
Casper Ruud analyzes Carlos Alcaraz's qualities on the court.

Casper Ruud heaped praise on Carlos Alcaraz after finishing second-best to the Spaniard at the 2022 US Open. Ruud believes Alcaraz possesses the best qualities of both Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic and that makes him a threat to any player on tour.

Alcaraz beat Ruud in a thrilling four-set battle to win his maiden Grand Slam singles title in his first-ever final at the Major level. After the final, Ruud spoke about Alcaraz's talents and what makes him stand out from the rest of the tour at the age of 19.

The Norwegian player stated that Nadal, Djokovic, and Roger Federer have set a high standard with regard to movement on the tennis court. He further highlighted how Nadal's speed and Djokovic's flexibility have played a huge role in their respective success over the years. According to Ruud, Alcaraz can execute both those skills at a high level.

"I think Novak and Rafa and also Federer, I think they kind of set the bar on how well you can move out there," Casper Ruud said during his post-match press conference.
"Rafa, when he was Carlos' age, he was also similar. He tracked down everything. Almost no one could hit a winner on him. Novak the same with his flexibility. He gets to certain shots that you think, 'How is that even possible?'" he added.
And that's how Carlos Alcaraz forces a third-set tiebreak 🤯 https://t.co/YH8qz3oMpM

Ruud called Alcaraz "a hard nut to crack," lauding his mixture of speed and flexibility.

"Carlos has sort of a mixture of both. He's fast, flexible. He can slide around. It's impressive. Yeah, he's a hard nut to crack," Ruud said.

Ruud dug deeper into that aspect of Carlos Alcaraz's game, stressing how his on-court movement is one of his biggest weapons. He explained that Alcaraz's incredible ability to move from one end of the court to the other in such quick time forces opponents to consistently hit the line if they are to produce winners against the Spaniard.

Ruud admitted that the standards of speed and agility among tennis players are generally improving, but Alcaraz's retrieval skills are unmatched.

"His movement is one of his many weapons, of course. It makes us other players feel like you need to paint the lines sort of to be able to hit a winner. Sometimes even that's not enough," he said.
"He's very fast. He's very quick. He's a great mover. He can get to balls that we've probably never seen before," he added.
Alcaraz hits the eraser on set point with a nifty volley. https://t.co/FA7OeBsvGc

"He still looked fresh as ever on this match today" - Casper Ruud hails Carlos Alcaraz's recovery during intense US Open campaign

Carlos Alcaraz and Casper Ruud at the 2022 US Open
Carlos Alcaraz and Casper Ruud at the 2022 US Open

Casper Ruud shed light on Carlos Alcaraz's recovery skills as well during the 2022 US Open. Alcaraz went into the final after playing three consecutive five-set matches against Marin Cilic, Jannik Sinner, and Frances Tiafoe. Despite that, Alcaraz did not look fatigued throughout the final, according to Ruud. The Norwegian lauded the Spaniard for working hard on his fitness.

"He's young. I guess he recovers fast. He still looked fresh as ever on this match today. So not going to say it's a surprise because he's a strong guy, he works hard, he does all the right things," Ruud said of Carlos Alcaraz during his post-match press conference.
"But it's impressive he's come from behind in some matches, played some four- and five-hour matches, still has that energy to keep going. All credits to him. His team, they do everything in the right ways," he added.
The dream becomes reality.@carlosalcaraz is a Grand Slam champion. https://t.co/sPFaAiVFNR

Ruud further stated that Alcaraz has been receiving help and advice on fitness and recovery from the same doctor who has guided Nadal over the years.

"I think he also has help from I believe a doctor who also has helped Rafa for many years. He knows what he's doing. He's been able to keep Rafa's body fresh and ready for many Grand Slams. So he has good help. He does all the right things," said Ruud.

Carlos Alcaraz broke the record for most hours spent on the court during a single Grand Slam campaign. The Spaniard spent a total of 23 hours and 40 minutes on the court throughout his 2022 US Open campaign, surpassing Kevin Anderson's tally during the 2018 Wimbledon Championships. His on-court time of almost 13 and a half hours in three matches alone prior to the finals contributed to the total tally.

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Edited by Nihal Taraporvala
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