“The motivation is very high, as you can imagine. There is one more to go.
“I’m so close. I know it. I know the feeling. I’ve had this feeling quite a few times in my career. So I know how I need to handle myself, my emotions, my day tomorrow, and after tomorrow, and to approach the finals in the best possible way.
“Pressure is always on my shoulders, so it’s not going to be different… I think that having pressure is a privilege.”
It’s an approach contrasting with that of Ruud, who said he would “try to play without too much pressure” in Sunday’s final.
But in his way, the young Norwegian is beginning to similarly embrace it.
He struggled on clay in the lead-up to Roland Garros this year, and admitted he was feeling the burden of defending his run to last year’s final.
Nevertheless, he has managed to play through those nerves, getting better the deeper he has progressed in Paris.
He outplayed Holger Rune in the quarterfinals to avenge his recent loss to the Dane in Rome, then allowed Zverev just seven games in a semifinal masterclass.
“I think this and the quarterfinal match was one of the best matches that I played this year,” Ruud observed.
“So that’s (a) good confidence boost going into the final… (I’m) probably playing the best tennis of the year so far. It’s been a tough one, but this sort of changes a little bit everything and how the year has been going.
“I’m gonna see if I can try to use last year’s defeat in the final as … extra motivation to try to play well on Sunday.”
Read More: Can Ruud stop Djokovic’s march to tennis immortality in Roland Garros final? 2023-06-10 04:10:26