Casper Ruud - titles in 2021 and best Grand Slam showings

Casper Ruud was one of the most improved tennis players in 2021. Here’s a snapshot of how he rose up the ATP rankings, all the way to number 8.

Casper Ruud celebrates his victory at ATP Finals; Credit: [email protected]

Anyone who’s watched Casper Ruud from his early tennis days knew that he was a player to watch out for in the future. He had a good junior career and has steadily risen up the rankings since he turned professional in 2015.

However, not even his biggest fans could have predicted the kind of year he would have had in 2021. He went from being a top 25-ranked player to a top-10 player in the space of a calendar year.

He not only won five ATP titles – taking his career tally to six – he also made it to the semi-finals of two ATP Masters events. Those are, in essence, the toughest tournaments to play in after the Grand Slams.

He then ended what was a good year by making his debut in the Nitto ATP Finals; there, he also qualified out of the group to make it to the semi-finals where he lost to eventual runner-up Daniil Medvedev.

But his strong showing ensured he retained his number 8 position in the ATP rankings. It also ensured that, come the 2022 season, there will be even more eyes on the boy from Norway.

But just how good was his 2021 season, and why was it such a breakout year for the second-generation tennis star?

That is exactly what we will explore here, as we track his title wins as well as his Grand Slam performances in the calendar year.

Casper Ruud tennis 2021

Casper Ruud has currently won a total of 6 ATP titles – five of which came in 2021. In the table below you can find the summary of all the titles he has won so far in his career.

TournamentFinal opponentScorelineTitle number
Argentina Open (2020)Pedro Sousa6-1, 6-41
Geneva Open (2021)Denis Shapovalov7-6(6), 6-42
Swedish Open (2021)Federico Coria6-3, 6-33
Swiss Open (2021)Hugo Gaston6-3, 6-24
Austrian Open (2021)Pedro Martinez6-1, 4-6, 6-35
San Diego Open (2021)Cameron Norrie6-0, 6-26

It is, of course, important to look at the context behind his title wins. This summer saw many of the top stars in tennis take a flight to Tokyo for the postponed 2020 Olympics.

Others also chose to use this period for a little rest or down time. This made sense given the bio-bubble fatigue many doubtless felt, a reason some players thus opted to even skip the Tokyo Olympics.

Ruud, however, chose to pack his calendar and won three straight ATP 250 titles at Bastad, Gstaad, and Kitzbuhel. It helped him shoot up the rankings but it did lead to a degree of controversy.

Many accused the young Norwegian of vulturing i.e. the act of entering lower-ranked tournaments simply to boost their points tally.

It is an argument that has some merit, but ultimately it is worth noting that Ruud simply did what was right for his career. And his ATP Finals showing also proved he belongs at the big stage.

Tennis player with most titles

Casper Ruud also won the most number of titles in 2021, a record he jointly shared with Alexander Zverev. Both of them won five titles each.

However, it is worth noting that Zverev’s titles included two ATP Masters event wins, as well as the victory in the ATP Finals.

Besides that, the player with the most match wins in the year was Daniil Medvedev. The Russian notched up the feat by leading Russia to Davis Cup glory.

Casper Ruud career titles

Grand Slam

Olympic Games00
ATP Finals00
ATP Masters 100000
ATP 50000
ATP 25068

Casper Ruud US open tennis

That being said, Casper Ruud’s year hasn’t been without its ups and downs. And arguably the biggest low he suffered in 2021 came in the US Open.

He was seeded eighth in the year’s final Grand Slam and, having experienced success on the Tour, was expected to kick on at Flushing Meadows.

However, he lost to Dutch qualifier Botic van de Zandschulp in the second round itself. This is despite winning the first set of the match.

He was eliminated in the first round at Wimbledon 2021, which would make that appear a worse showing. However, he was seeded 12th at Wimbledon and grass has never been his strongest surface.

And while clay is his surface of choice, he has won titles on hard courts too. This made his US Open showing the bigger disappointment.

Nevertheless, Ruud is only 22 and still improving, meaning there are plenty of chances in the future for him to show his worth on all surfaces.

Sportslumo Desk

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