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Is Casper Ruud at Risk of Ending Up as the Guillermo Coria of the Current Generation? One Worrying Trend Suggests So

Aravind Sekhar

Is Casper Ruud at Risk of being the next Guillermo Coria

Casper Ruud is considered as one of the best players in the world and this is largely due to his performances on clay. However, it is safe to say that he has not lived up to expectations despite getting his fair share of chances so far. Ruud’s performances on the red dirt is reminiscent in a way to Guillermo Coria of Argentina, who was considered the ‘King of Clay’ by a section of the tennis world in the early 2000s despite not winning a single Grand Slam before Rafael Nadal took over.

Coria won 8 clay court titles and one carpet title throughout his career. But Coria’s biggest matchup was during the 2004 French Open against Gaston Gaudio. Coria had a two-set love lead and two match points in the fifth set but could not seal the deal against Gaudio. He lost the match and could only win one title in his career after the heartbreaking loss in Paris. The former World No.3 could never capitalise on the big chances he had, despite being a clay court specialist.

On the other hand, Rafael Nadal started off the iconic 2005 season of his, with an 81-match winning streak on and that powered him to win 14 French Open titles, 12 Barcelona Open titles and 11 Monte Carlo Masters titles amongst other massive clay successes. 

Casper Ruud has trained extensively at the Rafa Nadal Academy and is widely considered to be better on clay than on other surfaces. So while the world should have seen Ruud being Nadal’s successor by now, that has not been the case sadly for his fans and those who are ardent followers of clay court tournaments.

Casper Ruud has been one of the players on clay who has yet to win a 500 series or Masters 1000 title. He has won 9 clay court titles in the past four seasons. But all his titles have been in the ATP 250 series. He came close to capturing the French Open in 2022 and 2023 but faltered in both the finals, losing to Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic respectively.

But the Norwegian player can set the records straight this season. He will need to beat Novak Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz on clay surely. Ruud is yet to take a set off Djokovic in five matches and has won one set against Alcaraz in four matches.

Ruud could face Alcaraz in the quarterfinals of the Monte Carlo Masters 2024. A win against the Spaniard will prove that he has a chance of winning the French Open. Ruud has played 168 matches on clay and has won 123 of them. He has a 72 percent winning record on the surface. He was close to reaching the 125-win mark at Estoril but lost unexpectedly in the semifinals to Pedro Martinez.

The 25-year-old cannot afford to lose early at Monte Carlo as it will derail his confidence in Paris. Ruud will need to produce big wins in the coming weeks so that he has a chance to create history on clay and prove that he can outshine his rivals on the big stage.

If not, Casper Ruud runs the risk of being remembered like Guillermo Coria, who could never recover after his 2004 French Open loss and had no answers to Rafael Nadal’s dominance. Ruud also can remind many of Dominic Thiem, who like him, made it to back-to-back French Open finals in 2018 and 2019 but failed in both. Although Thiem has won a Grand Slam in his career, but it was on the outdoor hard courts in 2020 at the US Open.

Today, Dominic Thiem has gone way past his prime and is fighting on his last legs having crossed the age of 30. Casper Ruud has an uphill task ahead of him. But the clay swing, starting from the Monte Carlo Masters in the 2024 season, is a great opportunity to make a strong statement. With Novak Djokovic aging and Carlos Alcaraz being the only player to have had more of a clay court upbringing as compared to him, Casper Ruud could establish himself as the other member of the new ‘Big Three’ of tennis after Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner.

Post Edited By:Dhruv Rupani

About the author

Aravind Sekhar

Aravind Sekhar


Aravind Sekhar is a Tennis Journalist at The SportsRush. He has been following Tennis since 2010. While not following the sport online, he plays the game and works on improving his one handed backhand. He has completed his Masters in Applied Sociology. Apart from writing, he is passionate about picking up interesting statistics on players from the WTA and ATP tours.

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