Casper Ruud, the world No.8, seems to be enduring a barren run of late on the ATP Tour, as he has suffered a lot of early ousters from tournaments. His most recent defeat came in the second round of the Swiss Indoors Basel, at the hands of world No.90, Dominic Stricker. The Norwegian also trails Carlos Alcaraz, the world No.2, 0-4 in their head-to-head.
Alcaraz also did not fare too well on the Asian swing, even crashing out of the Shanghai Masters in the third round itself. Thus, denting his hopes of upstaging Novak Djokovic as the year-end world No.1. Casper Ruud recently shared his views about Alcaraz’s game when he opined that the Spaniard sometimes tries too hard.
Casper Ruud says Carlos Alcaraz sometimes beats himself:
“Obviously, he plays so aggressive & so great, but, sometimes, it seems like he might beat himself a little. He goes for almost too much, at least in my eyes. I am not going to criticize him any more than this, because… pic.twitter.com/icQlr9Bi2e
— The Tennis Letter (@TheTennisLetter) October 30, 2023
Ruud stated, “Obviously, he plays so aggressive and so great, but, sometimes, it seems like he might beat himself a little. He goes for almost too much, at least in my eyes.” But, the 24-year-old was quick to praise the youngster, quoting that he has great respect for him.
Lauding the repertoire of shots that the Spaniard has, Casper added, “…But sometimes when you hit all these crazy shots, it’s kind of tempting to go for an even crazier one…” He also felt that Alcaraz understood the fact that the majority of matches are won by means of stability in the game rather than playing crazy shots.
This is not the first occasion that Alcaraz’s shots have been deemed as “crazy.” Slovakian tennis star, Alex Molcan has previously opined, “He’s playing crazy aggressive. He’s fit, he runs, he catches everything. Also Djokovic, he is also running incredibly. But they are different players,” thus underscoring the aggressive style of play of the Spanish youngster.
Hopes of Carlos Alcaraz to end the year as world no.1 end
The defeat meant that Alcaraz’s bid to end the year as world no.1 significantly diminished, as Novak Djokovic could extend his lead at the top to 1495 points at Paris. Coming into the tournament the difference was a mere 500 points. It is to be noted that Carlos had earlier withdrawn from the Swiss Indoors Basel due to injuries to his foot and back and made his return, only at the Paris Masters.
After the loss of the Spaniard, Brad Gilbert, former coach of Andre Agassi, opined, “Wow Safiullin takes out Escape from Alcaraz in straight sets, a big hit for his year-end number one chances now.” Thus, he gave his take on how the chances of Carlos to end the year as world no.1 has suffered a huge setback while being effusive in his praise for Safiullin.
wow 🤩 Safiullin takes out Escape from Alcaraz in straight sets, a big hit for his yearend number one ☝️ chances now
— Brad Gilbert (@bgtennisnation) October 31, 2023
Carlos Alcaraz, during his post-match press conference, had quoted, “Well, he didn’t surprise me at all, because I knew that he has, you know, he has been playing a great level these last few months, you know, beating big guys, reaching finals.” Thus, he stated that he wasn’t surprised with the levels at which Roman Safiullin operated, with his track record speaking volumes about his capability.