Rising tennis star Casper Ruud returns to Auckland
Norway’s Casper Ruud has celebrated his rise to the top of the world tennis rankings, with the confirmation that he will compete in the 2023 ASB Classic in Auckland.
The 23-year-old, who rose to world No. 2 after finishing second in the US Open this week, will become the highest-ranked male player in recent times to feature in the New Zealand tournament.
Ruud, who exited in the round of 16 at the ASB Classic in his last appearance of 2020, rose through the ranks of the world rankings and became the first Norwegian to break into the top 10.
In a breakthrough year for Ruud, he reached two Grand Slam finals, at Roland Garros and the US Open. He was also a 1000 finalist in Miami and won three ATP 250s this year in Buenos Aires, Geneva and Gstaad.
Ruud has won nine ATP singles titles throughout his career.
Tournament director Nicolas Lamperin said Ruud’s return was a “fantastic blow” for the event.
“Casper has been one of the most improved players on the tour over the past 18 months and is part of the new breed of exciting, athletic and skillful players.
“He enjoyed our tournament the last time he played here and indicated he wanted to come back. It’s a huge added bonus for all the tennis fans that he’s coming back as one of the best players in the world. .”
Ruud, who likes to have plenty of match time under his belt before a Grand Slam, is looking forward to returning to New Zealand as he prepares for the Australian Open, which he missed this year due to ‘a wound.
“The conditions are very similar to Melbourne, so it’s a fun tournament to play in and I’m looking forward to it,” Ruud said.
“I’m a player who likes to play a lot of games if I can. New Zealand is a great event and a place I have fond memories of.
“There is a good history of tennis in the tournament which has been played for many years so they know what they are doing.”
The ASB Classic returns from 2-14 January 2023 at the ASB Tennis Centre, Stanley St, Auckland.