Indian Wells: Ruud Continues To Roll
At Indian Wells, on Stadium 3, with its magnificent mountain views, Norwegian Casper Ruud, the sixth seed, defeated Roberto Carballés Baena of Spain 6-1, 6-2 in one hour and 11 minutes.
It’s my first time in the California desert and my first time watching Ruud play. And his high and heavy topspin, especially on his forehand, bouncing off a hard court is a sight to behold.
Clearly, Ruud loves the conditions here.
In his post-match press conference, Ruud said: “I think I played very well from the first to the last point. It was pretty much perfect conditions out there. It was around 27, 28, 29 degrees Celsius, which is quite nice for me and makes the ball bounce up quite high. My topspin shots, you know, they jump off the ground quite well here, I feel.
“I tried to make as many returns as possible and serve well and start going with my game that I would like to play. These courts are quite slow, but at the same time, it travels quite fast through the air, I think, because it’s a bit of altitude. Not too much, but I feel like there is a little bit.
“It’s quite dry air, and I felt good out there and had some days now to recover from last week and also prepare for this week, which is the biggest event over here.”
Ruud won his first hard-court title in San Diego last week, which was his fifth title of the season, moving him into the 8th position in the Race to Turin.
Ruud is the tour leader for the most titles so far in 2021.
When asked how that felt, Ruud said: “It feels obviously nice and a good feeling. The tournaments I won maybe can’t compare to what maybe Novak won, or he won three slams this year and I think he has four in total. Medvedev, those guys, they have some bigger titles to their name, but I think this year has been about winning a lot of matches for me and trying to—you know, I set a goal going into the season that I wanted to try to win another tournament, because last year was my first and I wanted to follow up this year with trying to winning another one, become a multiple ATP Tour champion or tournament champion.
“I was able to do so in Geneva, and then those three in a row kind of just happened quite fast when I think about it now, but, yeah, it’s been an unbelievable spring, summer, and also fall. This fall is turning out quite good. I’m very happy.
“This is a part of the season where I have struggled before. I don’t think that we will play San Diego and Indian Wells in October in the nearest future again, but, you know, who knows? But it’s nice to be here. Nice to play outdoors before going indoor for the European tournaments. So I enjoy it and feeling happy about what I have done this year but also hungry for more.”