World No. 8 Casper Ruud had a chance to meet and play tennis with Norwegian ski legend Aksel Lund Svindal.
Ruud, 23, enjoyed his time with Svindal as he insisted he was a really nice guy.
“When I grew up it was mostly winter sports athletes that were dominating a little bit in the sports world in Norway. We have an alpine skier, who I didn’t look up to with my tennis, but as a good athlete and nice person. His name is Aksel Lund Svindal. He just retired a couple of years ago and I have met him and played tennis with him and he is a really nice guy. He shows a little bit of what Norway is about with his attitude and aura is very nice,” Ruud told the ATP Cup website.
Ruud recalls his first tennis club
“My first tennis club was a nice one. Quite a small one a little bit outside Oslo where I grew up. It is close to the sea, so it can get windy at times and I think that experience helps me to this day dealing with the wind. We had five outdoor clay courts and five indoor hard courts,” Ruud said.
“I played inside the bubble, which was quite cold in the winter because sometimes the heating pump didn’t work, so it was quite cold some days. I don’t miss those practices.
“It was easier in the summer because we had more courts. But indoors it was three courts inside this bubble and it was freezing. You had this big echo, which was a good thing because you feel like you hit the ball so hard. Even when I was young I got that echo going.”
Ruud, who captured five titles in 2021, is set to kick off his season in Sydney at the ATP Cup.
Ruud is hoping to lead Norway to a good result and start his season on a positive way.