Ruud faces ‘idol’ Nadal in dream final – Roland-Garros | #students | #parents

After three consecutive years of third-round losses, Ruud finally broke through to the second week with a win over No.12 seed Hubert Hurkacz.

He then navigated past tricky opponents like 19-year-old Holger Rune in a contentious all-Scandinavian quarter-final, and a resurgent Marin Cilic in the last four.

Projected to rise to world No.6 with a run to the final, Norway’s history-maker is now focusing on making some personal history of his own.

Ruud is taking a free-swinging, nothing-to-lose mindset into the biggest match of his career, hoping to spoil the king of clay’s next coronation.

“On Sunday I will be the underdog, for sure, and Rafa will probably feel some of that pressure. So I will just try to enjoy the situation,” Ruud said.

“But I know that I will have to play even better than I did today if I want to have any chance at all, because he’s the greatest clay-court player of all time, as we know, and one of the greatest all-around players, if you ask me, of all time.

“He has won 21 Slams for a reason, and 13 of them here. It’s the toughest challenge there is in tennis, to play him here in the final, but at least I will have a shot at it.”

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