Casper Ruud jokes about getting his ‘ass kicked’ by Roger Federer

Casper Ruud

Casper Ruud enjoyed a smooth start to his 2023 French Open campaign on Court Suzanne Lenglen, but afterwards he acknowledged his first memory of playing on the court wasn’t the greatest as he got his “ass kicked” by Roger Federer.

The fourth seed didn’t really have to hit top gear against Elias Ymer in the first round on Tuesday as he secured a 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 victory in just over two hours, although the Swede also had some moments of joy late on as he broke once in the second set and twice in the third.

During the post-match press interview Ruud was asked about playing on the famous court and he admitted his first appearance wasn’t good as he was at the receiving end of hiding from 20-time Grand Slam winner Federer, who retired last year.

“First time I played here was against Roger some years ago and I got my ass kicked,” the Norwegian joked. “I think we all miss Roger on the Tour. It’s been sad and we all hope that he is enjoying where ever he is.”

Not too many people would consider a 6-3, 6-1, 7-6 (10-8) defeat as getting your “ass kicked”, but Ruud has come a long way since that 2019 encounter in Paris.

Last year he finished runner-up to Rafael Nadal in the final at Roland Garros while he was also on the losing end in the US Open final against Carlos Alcaraz in September.

And he would no doubt hope to repeat of last year’s run or go one better this time around.

“First match back here since one of the best tournaments of my life last year,” he said. “I was a bit nervous; trying to defend what I did last year. I won the first set and calmed down. I felt better set by set, and remained focused throughout. It’s really fun. It’s great to be back in Paris and playing in front of the passionate French crowd.

“I had a great experience last year, making the final, with more and more supporters coming to watch [as I progressed]. It’s great playing on this historic court.”

Ruud will face either Alexander Bublik or Giulio Zeppieri in the second round while he is projected to meet 16th seeded American Tommy Paul in the fourth round.

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