Casper Ruud said he would prepare for the French Open as if it was the biggest tournament of his career after claiming his second-ever title in Geneva on Saturday.
Ruud won the ATP Geneva Open final with a 7-6 (8/6), 6-4 victory over Denis Shapovalov and is now looking to “do some damage” at Roland Garros when the second Grand Slam of the year begins on May 30.
Victory in Geneva means the Norwegian world No 21 is going to be among the top 16 seeds in Paris.
Saturday’s win at the Eaux-Vives club completed an impressive clay court build-up to the French Open, with Ruud having reached the semi-finals at Monte Carlo, Munich and Madrid.
“It’s a good confidence booster for Roland Garros,” the 22-year-old said afterwards.
“I have to prepare as if it’s the biggest tournament of my life, and it will be one of the most important ones. Hopefully the form I’ve been showing recently can also affect the other players: that they will think it will be a tough challenge if they play me.”
Ruud said Friday he would prepare for Paris by hitting with 13-time Roland Garros champion Rafael Nadal at the Spaniard’s Mallorca base next week.
“It’s important to keep the intensity and the focus up and in one way, try to pretend that this never happened, in the sense that you need to work hard every day in the coming days to Paris,” he told reporters after winning the Geneva title.
“When we talk about Roland Garros, I will be top 16 seeded this year. It will be a benefit with the seeding who you will play in the first matches.
“I hope I can do some damage. I hope to be in the second week of Roland Garros.”
Geneva was Ruud’s second career title, with the right-hander having won Buenos Aires last year.
Canadian world number 15 Shapovalov also went into the Swiss tournament in form, having given Nadal a fright earlier this month in Rome, holding two match points against the eventual champion.
Shapovalov targets Paris run
Shapovalov said he would take some time off to recover physically before heading to Paris.
The 22-year-old said he felt in a good frame of mind to tackle the clay court major.
“I do think it’s a tournament I can do really well in. I do see myself going deep there in the future. It’s a place that I like to play,” he said. “The game and everything’s there; it’s just getting the body ready for Roland Garros.”
The left-hander has never been past the second round at Roland Garros but said he had no points to prove on clay, given his good run on the surface.
“I’ve got to keep doing the same thing. I’m playing a lot more relaxed now,” he said.
“I don’t think it’s a surprise that I’m able to play on this surface any more. It’s more of me coming together with myself because my game has been there.”
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