World number two Casper Ruud said on Wednesday that a bit of Roger Federer had rubbed off on him after being part of the tennis legend’s send-off last week.
The 23-year-old Norwegian reached the final of the US Open earlier this month and then was surrounded by the cream of men’s tennis at the Laver Cup in London for Federer’s last hurrah.
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He enjoyed seeing up close the chemistry between Federer and his long-time rival and friend Rafael Nadal. The duo played together in doubles for Federer’s farewell.
“Having those two together in Roger’s last match was incredible to witness," Ruud said at the Korea Open in Seoul.
“It was very fun to be around them. They joke with each other all the time.
“Obviously they’re older and at a later stage in their career and it’s inspiring to see that they have the motivation to keep going and that they are eager to play and enjoy each other’s company.
“I was lucky and I was honoured that I was able to be a part of the team. I learned a lot and took a lot of joy with me from the experience."
The top seed Ruud said that the pressure is off in the South Korean capital, where he faces 111th-ranked Nicolas Jarry in his opener on Thursday.
“There’s always room for improvement," said Ruud.
“(But) I feel that I have done very well this year, so if it doesn’t go extremely well (at the tournament), it’s not going to matter too much."
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