founder Nima Naderi and writer/reporter Amy Lundy debate whether Casper Ruud is overrated or not. The Norwegian, currently ranked #4 in the world, has been runner up at Grand Slams 3 times and has 10 career singles titles, all at the 250 level. His career earnings in prize money alone (singles and doubles combined) is over $15 million.

Nima’s Point

Recently, I posed the question on Twitter: Is Casper Ruud overrated? The simple point gained a lot of traction and provided a very elaborate discussion on both sides of the spectrum.

Interestingly enough, tennis mainstays and respected coaches Daniel Vallverdu and Brad Gilbert tweeted to defend the Norwegian in their support that he is not in fact “overrated.”

Anyway you slice this argument, the facts remain here:

– Ruud is 0-14 against 5 recent Grand Slam winners: Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, Medvedev and Alcaraz.

– He has never won a title higher than an ATP Tour 250 event.

– In the 3 Majors finals that he reached (French Open 2022 and 2023 and the US Open in 2022), he only defeated one top 10 player en-route to the finals (Rune, Roland Garros quarterfinals 2023).

– He has notoriously played a ton of lower ranked clay court events to gain ranking points throughout the years

– Against the rest of the current top 10, his record is:

1-1 against Tsitsipas
6-1 against Rune
2-5 against Rublev
0-2 against Sinner
1-0 against Fritz
0-0 against Tiafoe

All in all, the claim remains strong that at No. 4 in the world and a career high of No. 2, Ruud is an overrated player that has benefitted from easy Slam draws and a weak overall top 10 field at the moment.


Amy’s Counterpoint

This is an easy counterpoint for me to take up because Ruud is one of my son’s favorite players. He gets loads of respect in my house for his work ethic and his forehand!

First of all, Ruud is only 24 years old. His story is very much unwritten. Dude has a decade or more of tennis in front of him, if he so chooses.

– Regarding the 0-14 record against recent Grand Slam champs, most people struggle against those guys, particularly the Big 3. Federer, Nadal and Djokovic are in their own rare air (more on that in a moment). Yes, as of now, Casper is 0-6 vs Meddy and Carlitos, but only one of those six matches was on clay, Casper’s preferred surface. Give these rivalries time to play out.

– All his titles are 250s. It’s better than not winning ten 250s, which is true of the vast majority of players on tour. Yes, he might benefit from more thoughtful scheduling to save his energy for Masters level events, but he’ll get there.

– 6-1 vs Holger Rune is nothing to sneeze at. Runner up in three Grand Slam and one ATP Finals is amazing for a 24-year-old. To borrow from golf (since Casper likes it), the GOAT of golf, Jack Nicklaus, finished 2nd in Majors a record 19 times. The fact is, most tennis players lose most of the time. That’s the nature of tournament tennis. Ruud’s overall career winning percentage is 65%. How many people can say that? Ruud will break through and win a Grand Slam eventually.

– On blowing off the grass season, except for Wimbledon. How a player chooses to engage with the sport of tennis is their choice. I have friends who refuse to play indoors– or play on clay. They’re good players. They do them. If Ruud wants to make $15 million in prize money and use the grass season to take a breather, then he’s probably doing something right. Scandinavians have been consistently ranked as some of the most content people on the planet, in large part to work-life balance. Casper has that.

– The other side of the equation of the Big 3 dominance era is that current young players probably realize they’re never going to catch those guys. If you can’t possibly win 20+ Grand Slams, you might need to enjoy your life a bit. Ruud can still very much win a Grand Slam or two, or four. That doesn’t mean he needs to wear himself out on a surface he doesn’t enjoy. The tennis calendar is too damn long. Everyone needs a calculated break in the schedule, and I’m here for it.

The bottom line: The Big 3 Era is drawing to a close. The world is about to open up for the taking. I would not bet against Ruud’s work ethic as a means to solving the larger-tournament puzzle.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here