Casper Ruud spoke about the experience of having Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer helping him during his first Laver Cup match. The Norwegian played against Jack Sock in the first singles match of the fifth edition of the tournament and battled hard to get past the American in three sets.
While speaking at the post-match press conference, Casper Ruud reflected on sharing the same stage as the two greats of the game, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. Speaking further about being advised by the two legends, Ruud stated that receiving their help on the sidelines was "surreal."
"Yeah, it feels great. Obviously I was focused about the match and trying to win it, but it's fun, you turn around and have Rafa on one side and Roger on the other side trying to help you. I didn't feel, even though I lost the second set, I didn't feel like I needed like an unbelievable amount of help, but they came with some good tips. I think that was good advice. Yeah, it feels a bit surreal to have them on both sides," Ruud said.
The World No. 2 then shifted to talk about all the learnings he received from the 'Big 4'. Casper Ruud acknowledged their contribution to the sport and said how even at the fag end of their career, their hunger for success is still impressive.
"Yeah, it's impressive to see Novak, Rafa, Andy, of course also Roger, but now that he's retiring, I can, you know, say more about the other three, that they are still hungry and they have won everything there is to win, but they still want to go for more. Yeah, every practice is still important for them. They don't take anything for granted. It's impressive to see, like I said, because they have experienced it all, they have won it all and everything there is to win, but they are still hungry for more," he added.
"He just likes to joke around; He always brings a good energy, good vibe" - Casper Ruud on Roger Federer
Roger Federer played his last competitive match, a doubles encounter partnering Rafael Nadal at the Laver Cup on Friday night.
Casper Ruud, the 2022 US Open runner-up, spoke about the experience of having the Swiss around in the dressing room and mentioned that Federer spoke to him in some Swedish as well. Swedish and Norwegian are mutually intelligible.
"Roger is very excited to see all the players. He talks a little bit Swedish with me, as well, because he had a lot of Swedish coaches so he knows some words and some sentences, and I was impressed on how much he knows."
Casper Ruud mentioned that Roger Federer generally gives nicknames to some of the players and also spoke about the Swiss' lighthearted nature and how he brings a "good vibe".
"I don't think he has a nickname for me, but, you know, Bjorn is The King. Rafa is Rafa, obviously. Yeah, he just likes to joke around. It's fun. He always brings a good energy, good vibe."
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