20 years on, Federer faces son of rival from debut French Open
Paris: Roger Federer, one of the oldest player at 37, will on Friday take on Casper Ruud — the son of his rival from the 1999 French Open when the Swiss star made his debut.
Federer will be playing Casper in the third round at the Roland Garros.
In 1999, Ruud’s father Christian had reached the third round of the French Open when a 17-year-old Federer made his main draw debut. In that year, Federer had made an exit in the first round itself as he lost to Pat Rafter.
Christian’ last career tournament was the French Open in 2001 where he retired in the first round against Sargis Sargsian. Had Christian defeated Sargsian, he would have faced Federer in the second round.
“I know probably more about his dad than about him. Even though I never played his father,” Federer was quoted as saying by the ATPTour website.
“I know that (Casper has) improved a lot in recent years, and I think he plays very well on the clay. Again, I haven’t seen him play a whole lot. But for any 20-year-old to be on the big stage, playing a top guy, on a centre court, that’s what you dream of.”
The third-seeded Swiss, making his first appearance in Roland Garros since 2015, has defeated Lorenzo Sonego and Oscar Otte in the first two rounds of the ongoing competition.