Casper Ruud, by his own estimation, overachieved during the 2022 ATP Tour season. Following his defeat to Novak Djokovic in Sunday's ATP Finals title match, the 23-year-old Norwegian will finish the year at World No.3 in the ATP Rankings.
His lofty position is reward for three tour-level titles this season, and an additional four finals at some of the biggest events on the calendar: Turin, the US Open Roland Garros and Miami.
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"In the end it's been disappointing to end up losing these big finals," Ruud said, reflecting on the past 11 months. "Overall, if you gave me an offer to end the year at No.3, play the finals that I've played, at the 1st of January this year, I would probably sign the contract right away. No doubt about it."
By surpassing his goals this season — which initially included reaching his first Grand Slam quarter-final — Ruud has raised the bar for 2023. He is already eyeing his next big opportunity at the Australian Open where he does not have any ATP Rankings points to defend.
"This year I was not even able to play the Australian Open, so it's a big chance for me to get some sort of revenge down there and hopefully have a good result," said Ruud, who will end the year 1,000 points behind World No.1 Carlos Alcaraz. "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.
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"There will be a lot of points and results for me to defend [after Australia]. I hope I can do that and achieve even more. That's not going to be easy because this year I've done very well in certain tournaments, but I will try my best."