Casper Ruud may be 8608 miles away from home but the Norwegian really made a mark on the opening day of the inaugural ATP Cup in Perth.
Casper is a player I’ve been following for around 18 months or so. His game his built on his forehand and having watched him at the Next Gen Finals in Milan there were aspects of his game which needed slight improvement.
The serve impressed me, I think a bit too much top-spin at times is an issue but the backhand felt more thought out against Isner.
I liked what I saw against Isner, he didn’t launch the backhand but it was cleverly played. An aspect from Milan was the fact he didn’t find depth on backhand as shown in the piece above but also only 8 of his 65 winners in the tournament were from the backhand.
He didn’t go to town with his backhand but he played smart tennis when John approached the net in-particular. If anything the approach from Isner at times was a little bit lost and gave Casper that time to line up his backhand and pick his shots but also think about the next shot in the progress.
Isner’s second serve got the treatment. The American won just 39% of points compared to 72% from the Norwegian.
Casper hit plenty of winners (45) however John still hit more at 73 but in a match containing 38 games the 21 year old hit just 8 unforced errors. He hit the spots and at the big moments played a very accurate return game winning 20/23 points at the net.
The only break point won in the match was the final point with Casper sealing a comeback win 6-7 7-6 7-5.