Race to Turin: Casper Ruud becomes third man to qualify

A delighted Casper Ruud

World No 2 Casper Ruud has qualified for the ATP Tour Finals for the second consecutive year, joining Spaniards Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz in the eight-player field.

Ruud will play in the season finale in Turin from 13-20 November.

He entered the Korea Open on the brink of clinching his place with three titles and two Grand Slam finals to his name this season.

Ruud is eager to stake his claim to being among the best players in the world.

“I just got the news that I qualified for the Nitto ATP Finals in Turin again this year and I’m so much looking forward to coming back to Italy,” Ruud said.

“I had such a great time last year, it’s a great country for tennis.”

Ruud guaranteed his spot in the year-end championships by winning his Round of match in Seoul against Nicolas Jarry.

The contest was the first action for the top seed at the Korea Open after he was afforded a bye through the first round.

Ruud has elevated his game to new heights this season after what many consider to be his berakout season in 2021.

In 2022, the 23-year-old from Oslo has tallied 47 tour-level wins, third on the ATP Tour behind only Alcaraz (52) and Stefanos Tsitsipas (49).

Ruud is flying at a career-high No. 2 in the ATP Rankings, making him the highest-ranked Norwegian player in since the rankings were brought into the game in 1973.

Earlier this year Ruud advanced to his first ATP Masters 1000 final in Miami and his maiden major championship match at Roland Garros.

He also claimed ATP 250 trophies in Buenos Aires, Geneva and Gstaad. The 23-year-old then reached his second major final at the US Open.

Ruud made his Nitto ATP Finals debut last year at the Pala Alpitour. The Norwegian advanced to the semi-finals with victories against Cameron Norrie and Andrey Rublev before falling to 2020 champion Daniil Medvedev.

At the US Open he put on a terrific final against Carlos Alcaraz and it has been suggested that he could be among the top players for some time to come if he can keep his form and fitness.

Ruud will face Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka in the last eight in Seoul.

Nishioka should pose a stiffer threat to Ruud having dealt with Dan Evans in straight sets having also beaten compatriot Taro Daniel in the first round.

Other top seeds still left in the draw are Cameron Norrie (2) and Denis Shapovalov (4).

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