Casper Ruud wants Grand Slam over world number one ranking

If Casper Ruud were forced to choose, he would rather win a Grand Slam than be the ATP World No 1.

Ruud came very close to doing both of those things in 2022, missing out in the final at both Roland Garros and the US Open and coming within a few match wins of being the rankings king.

The Norwegian is focused on winning a Major above all else.

"It has to be to win a Grand Slam for me," said Ruud from Abu Dhabi.

"The Grand Slam trophy is something you can keep forever. Whilst the No.1 position is something you can have temporarily but you can not have it forever. Ok, you can have the career-high No.1 ranking forever but to me, the biggest goal for me and many other players is to try to win a Grand Slam."

Ruud has been a busy man since the season ended, playing indoor exhibitions against Rafael Nadal before his jaunt to the UAE.

That trip was made with one eye on Australia as Ruud seeks to prepare to play in the heat.

"The court is a little bit different and it took some time for me to get used to it because I have been playing mainly indoors in recent weeks. Especially in South America where I was playing exhibition matches against Rafa (Nadal) indoors. Took me a bit longer to get used to the warmer weather but I'm feeling a bit better day by day."

Ruud lost his first match in Abu Dhabi to Stefanos Tsitsipas but overcame World No 1, Carlos Alcaraz, in a third-place playoff match.

He is not alone in hunting for more next season, with British No 1 Cameron Norrie aslo eager to push the envelope and move up the rankings.

Norrie is another player desperate to win a first Grand Slam.

"I think last year wasn't a surprise because I felt good and I had a really good year," he said.

"This year has been good but I do wish I could have done a bit better. But I think that is just how my expectations change. I finished 10th or 11th last year. So it is tough to finish around the same this year with Wimbledon not awarding points. Maybe I could have been a bit better this year. Overall, it was a good year with a lot of good wins. My expectations (for 2023) go up and up so I am going to have to fulfill those."

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