Tennis-Norway's Ruud looking to improve after ATP Finals loss to Djokovic

  • Tennis
  • Monday, 21 Nov 2022

Tennis - ATP Finals Turin - Pala Alpitour, Turin, Italy - November 20, 2022 Norway's Casper Ruud with the runners up trophy after losing the men's singles final against Serbia's Novak Djokovic REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

TURIN, Italy (Reuters) - Norway's Casper Ruud believes this year was a positive surprise despite several final losses including Sunday's ATP Finals decider and said he still had not reached his full potential.

Ruud lost 7-5 6-3 to Novak Djokovic in the ATP Finals title match after the Serbian harnessed his mighty forehand to break Ruud in the fourth game of the second set.

The 23-year-old Norwegian has had a great year - reaching his first Masters 1000 final at the Miami Open before making it to the French Open and U.S. Open finals.

"Overall, if you gave me the offer to end the year at No. 3, play the finals that I've played, on 1st January this year, I would probably sign the contract right away. No doubt about it," Ruud said at a news conference.

"I feel like, of course, I've been playing great tennis this year, but I still feel like I haven't maybe peaked or played hopefully my best tennis of my life so far."

Ruud is aiming to start the new year on a high as more eyes will be on him after a successful 2022.

"I look forward to going to Australia and starting a new season. I look forward to playing best-of-five sets again. I think for the Australian Open I can say I'm already hungry to have a good result and let's see how next year plays out," he said.

"I mean, I don't play tennis because I want the media to write good (things) about me or write that I won or whatever. I play because I love competing. I love to try to win. That's what I have to focus on."

The Australia Open starts on Jan. 16 in Melbourne.

(Reporting by Tommy Lund in Gdansk; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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