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Not easy to sleep before meeting the greatest legend in your sport's history: Casper Ruud on playing Roger Federer

Roger Federer at the 2019 French Open
Roger Federer at the 2019 French Open
Modified 28 Nov 2020

Casper Ruud recently talked about the pressure he felt when he was due to meet Roger Federer at the French Open last year. Ruud found it difficult to sleep the night before, claiming he was 'extra nervous'.

Federer defeated Ruud in straight sets when they played in the third round of the claycourt Slam at Paris. It was the first and only meeting so far between the Norwegian youngster and the Swiss tennis legend.

Speaking in a TV interview with Skavlan, the 21-year-old recalled how his state of mind before facing Federer was anything but calm.

"I remember before I was going to play against Roger Federer, it was a bit difficult to sleep the night before," Ruud said. "When you lie with your head on the pillow, thoughts come. Because when you have to meet a player like Federer, the pressure is great."
"It is the time of day (while sleeping) where I get to think most about what will happen the next day," he added. "So when you meet the one who is considered the greatest legend in your sport in history, it is clear that you get a little extra nervous. It was not as easy to fall asleep then."

When Roger Federer entered the players' cafe, it became completely quiet and all the players turned around: Casper Ruud

Roger Federer and Casper Ruud at the 2019 French Open
Roger Federer and Casper Ruud at the 2019 French Open

In the same interview, Casper Ruud also revealed an anecdote from Melbourne a few years ago. The Norwegian explained how when Roger Federer walked into the players cafe, the entire room fell silent as all the players turned around to look at the Swiss legend.

"It was in Melbourne a few years ago, and then I remember that we sat in a large cafe where all the players sit to eat," Ruud said. "When Roger Federer came in, it was completely quiet and everyone turned around. Now the legend is here."

The World No. 27 added that the Big 3 - Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic - command a tremendous amount of respect among the players, not only on the court but off it as well.

"These three legends, they look taller than they might be. They are probably around 1.85 meters, but it may seem that they are two meters because of the respect you have for them," Ruud said.
Published 28 Nov 2020, 21:22 IST
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