Novak Djokovic hailed for classy French Open gesture by Casper Ruud as private text shared | Tennis | Sport

The Norwegian got a walkover directly into the semi-final as a result of Djokovic’s withdrawal. And the Serb is now hoping to see Ruud have another successful run at Roland Garros after reaching the final in the last two editions of the tournament.

Addressing Djokovic’s withdrawal, Ruud told Eurosport: “He texted me the other day and just informed that he wasn’t going to be able to play so that was a nice gesture and wished me good luck.

“And you know, he’s a great guy, great athlete and he’s led the way for many, many other players and being a role model he always takes time for other players so I think in this aspect he’s great and everyone here including myself wishes him a speedy recovery.”

The world No. 7 sent a kind message back to Djokovic after learning that the 24-time Grand Slam champion had an operation on Wednesday morning. “I also read today that he had surgery so I hope it went well, I hope he can come back soon. He’s always missed when he can’t play,” Ruud added.

Djokovic defeated the 25-year-old in the 2023 final but Ruud got revenge earlier this year in Monte Carlo, beating the world No. 1 in the semi-final. It was part of his successful start to the clay swing, which saw him finish as the runner-up in Monaco before he won his first ATP 500 title in Barcelona a week later.

And the three-time Grand Slam finalist explained that his run gave him the boost he needed ahead of the French Open. “I mean because it’s kind of like what we deal with in a Slam, playing over two weeks,” he said.

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