Roger Federer admits Casper Ruud has ‘improved a lot’
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The families of Casper Ruud and Holger Rune are in a war for the truth following their clash at the French Open on Wednesday. Ruud, 23, defeated his teenage opponent 6-1, 4-6, 7-6 (2), 6-3 to become the first Norwegian man to reach a Grand Slam semi-final.
But their match was filled with drama, and not all the desirable kind after Rune repeatedly shouted at himself and the umpire. Although he claimed otherwise, 19-year-old Rune also shouted “leave, leave leave! at his player’s box shortly before mother Aneke left the arena, leading Ruud to tell Norwegian newspaper VG his opponent should “grow up a bit.”
Ruud could be seen shaking his head in disbelief after Rune barely dispensed a high-five at the net, having argued with the officials until the very last point. The defeated Dane went further, however, when he claimed semi-finalist Ruud wasn’t nearly as neutral in the changing rooms.
“The team is really nice and sweet, but then he [Ruud] goes straight to me and shouts ‘JAAA’ straight up in my face,” Rune told Danish daily Ekstra Bladet. “I thought ‘what the hell are you doing?’ You just do not do that. You can cheer as much as you want on the court, I do it myself when I win. But that’s just a lack of class. He should have had more respect.”
The Ruud camp took little time to deny those comments, however, with father Christian telling Eurosport that narrative isn’t accurate: “It is a simply a lie from Holger. It is nothing more to talk about, because it is a pure lie. Our focus is now on the match on Friday against Cilic.”
Taking umbrage with those remarks, Rune’s mother, Aneke, told BT that Ruud Sr. wasn’t present when the alleged incident occurred: “The father was not there when it happened, he had left. It was only the physical trainer or therapist. It was while Holger was waiting for doping control, so the father cannot comment on that. One thing is that you shout in my son’s face. Another thing is that the father is lying to the press.”
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Rune took to Instagram after the loss and pledged to improve, admitting he was frsutrated during the match and needs more “emotional control.” When another user put it to the teen that he should work on his sportsmanship and handshakes, he replied with a winking emoji and wrote: “Only hug friends, sorry.”
Having alright written Norwegian history by making it to final four, Ruud will look to go one better by beating 2014 U.S. Open champion Marin Cilic next. A tougher test is guaranteed if he does advance, with either 13-time French Open king Rafael Nadal or Alexander Zverev waiting on the other side.
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