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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Thursday April 11, 2024

For Casper Ruud, the 2024 clay-court season is all about the attitude.

The Norwegian has already carved out an enviable career on the surface, which includes two Roland-Garros finals, nine ATP titles, and 125 wins against just 46 losses, but now that he’s 25, and with so many positive experiences under his belt, Ruud is aiming for bigger and better.

Tennis Express

That all starts, says Ruud, with professionalism and consistency.

“I’m looking for more steady results,” he said on Thursday after defeating Hubert Hurkacz, 6-4, 6-2 . “I told myself that I would like to reach the quarterfinal or better every time I show up to a tournament on the clay – that's kind of the main goal for the clay season. “If that's, five, six quarterfinals in a row, I'll take it but of course you want to go even deeper.”

Ruud says he is entering this stage of his career with a different perspective. He wants to be more assertive on the court – and he knows he has the game to do that.

Not that he hasn't already -- Ruud leads all ATP players in clay court wins (96), finals (13) and titles (9) since the start of the 2020 season.

“I've kind of set that as a little minimum to try to come in with a different mentality this year and expect a little bit more for myself,” he said. “I've had a few good results in the past on clay, obviously Roland-Garros twice in a row with a really great result, that gives me confidence to say these things that I am going to try to do well in every clay tournament.

“Sometimes you have to say certain things, that you believe in yourself, and I have gained a lot of self-belief after a few results in my career already. I'm getting older and there are more young guys coming.”

Now that he’s one of the veterans on tour, the 10th-ranked Norwegian knows he has to stand up and protect his territory. For him, it all begins on the red clay.

“I turned 25, a few months ago and I said: ‘It's time to kind of grow up. You're an adult. Now you're a grown man, and you have to show up to every tournament, believing more in yourself and coming with maybe a little bit different attitude,’” Ruud said. “So I'm trying [to do that] that this clay-court season.”