It's not a surprise that Ruud thinks that way because Nadal is a 14x champion of this event including last year. He beat Ruud in the final so the Norwegian knows really well what makes him so difficult to beat at the event. Despite not playing since the Australian Open, Ruud could see Nadal find some incredible level on clay:
“I don't know, I still feel like if Dominic or I shouldn't root for ourselves, I think we both can say that we wouldn't be surprised if Rafa came up with some ridiculous level once again. It wouldn't surprise me because he will probably use these weeks and these months as he is preparing for exactly, you know, Roland-Garros."
Ruud doesn't think any kind of bad results before the event itself would affect Nadal at all because he's been so good at Roland Garros. He'll be the favourite always:
"You know, it doesn't matter if he loses in Monte Carlo or if he loses in Rome or Madrid. The only thing that is probably on his mind these days is just to be fit, be healthy and be ready for Roland-Garros.”