Casper Ruud continued his ascent in 2022, advancing to his first two Grand Slam finals and reaching the championship match at the Nitto ATP Finals.

Fans will be able to take a behind-the-scenes look at the Norwegian’s year by watching Netflix’s Break Point, which premieres on 13 January. Ruud spoke to ATPTour.com about his experience working with the Netflix crews, the one place he did not allow them to go, and how F1: Drive To Survive changed his driver preferences.

What was the experience always having a crew around?
They are asking for a lot and I gave them what I feel comfortable with. You won’t see me in my hotel rooms and so on, too much in my personal life, because it’s not something I’m too comfortable sharing.

They were there when I made both finals this year in Grand Slams, which I’m sure they have caught some good moments on tape. In the Slams they tended to film me in my warmups and we like to play a lot of games with footballs and stuff. I hope that they caught some of the members of my team screwing up the soccer tricks. That is what I’m hoping for a lot and that I can do all the tricks perfectly and that all my team members can do them wrong!

Where did you come up with those games?
It’s just challenges, really. Any trick or move that is challenging to try to make, making it look simple. That’s sort of what Roger has done in tennis. He’s made it look simple and it’s not, so if you can do that, it means you’re good and I’m not sure if I can do that in soccer, but some juggling and dribbling I can do, I’ve learned to do. It’s not world-class material, I would say. But for me, I’m happy with it.

Obviously the two Slam finals, those were big moments for you and you wanted to give everything to that, so did any part of you with the cameras around thinking about needing to focus?
Not really. I haven’t been joking or playing too much around the cameras because I’ve been focussed. I think I’m quite professional in the way I go about things and in my career especially, so I don’t want to waste energy trying to be a clown on TV when there’s a match to be played. I can let someone else do that.

How much Netflix do you watch?
I watch quite a lot, honestly. One of my favourite shows is Stranger Things, so I hope they can produce Season 5 very fast, because I am dying to watch it.

Do you download it for the plane rides?
Yes, especially. That’s a good thing with Netflix. I think they were the first ones where you could download the episodes, so that’s perfect for me and my travelling. They have everything. Good TV shows, good documentaries, movies, so it’s a good platform.

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You’ve mentioned you were watching Drive To Survive. Who are the drivers you grew to like?
Before watching the show I was a [Lewis] Hamilton fan because he was winning mostly. And I didn’t follow that much, he was just a cool guy and a cool figure to sort of have on the front of the sport. He’s a cool guy, he interacts with other people… I used to follow him on social media.

But other than that I didn’t know too many until [the show]. Of course I knew Kimi Raikkonen, he is a very funny guy. But now in the guys driving this year, I think maybe [Charles] Leclerc is my favourite. I’m still a Hamilton fan and I was heartbroken [in 2021] with the finish. I think it was stunning my heart for weeks, it still does when I talk about it. But Leclerc and Hamilton, maybe. 

If there is a player you’d want to see do something like this with Netflix behind the scenes, who would it be and why?
I think obviously Roger would be fun to get an insight into his life. Both professionally and personally. Obviously as a father he has four kids and there are a lot of things that go on, but I don’t think it will happen as far as I’m concerned [laughs].

But yeah, these sorts of shows are more about the younger guys, the newish generation that is coming up and you will see. It’s going to be interesting anyway to see what other players do in their spare time, their off time and in their personal life how messy their hotel rooms are, because mine tend to get pretty messy!

So that’s why you didn’t want them in there? [laughs]
That could be one of the reasons [laughs].

I bring my physio bench, a treatment table, to tournaments and that table just gets loaded and loaded day by day with more clothes. Clean clothes, luckily. But I gave up on organising it into the closet and everything. So the massage table is actually more for clothing storage. And then when I have to do treatment, I just throw everything over to the bed and then put it back on the massage table afterwards.

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Did you ever wish the cameras weren’t there?
I don’t know, not really. I think they caught the perfect balance between not too little and not too much. Obviously coming into the locker room and stuff can be a bit of a challenge for a camera crew, it can be a bit intimate and stuff. But sometimes they come into the locker room.

I think what people are going to find probably the most interesting is just the joy when you see your team after winning a match and that’s not in the locker room, that’s when you walk on or off centre court, which is very fun and some of the best feelings that we have.

Are you excited to sit down and watch it right away when it comes out?
Honestly I don’t love watching myself on TV, so most appearances that I do, either in an interview or a talk show, I don’t watch them myself. But also it’s because I know what I’m saying so I don’t need to watch it again. I was there saying it myself, so what’s the point of watching?

But this is going to be different because it’s Netflix. It’s a big show and you’ll have millions of people watching it.

It’s going to be interesting to watch the other players and I think they have caught some very cool moments on camera with the other players, including myself, reaching finals of Grand Slams and they were around. I think it’s going to be fun to watch and I think I’m going to watch the whole episode probably of myself and I’m going to be a bit nervous to see how it is.

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