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NEW YORK—Famously mad for winter sports, Norway isn’t the first country that comes to mind for tennis or soccer—but thanks to newly minted US Open quarterfinalist Casper Ruud and a certain Manchester City wonderkid, they are slowly gaining ground.

No. 5 seed Ruud overcame Corentin Moutet in a contentious 6-1, 6-2, 6-7 (4), 6-2 battle on Sunday to notch his latest career milestone, booking a last-eight meeting with Matteo Berrettini in the process.

But will sports fans back home be tuning in to watch the contest between the 2022 French Open finalist and the 2021 Wimbledon finalist? Maybe, said Ruud, speaking to press after the match—unless they're checking out one Erling Haaland instead.

“We have winter sports that dominate and we have a new pretty good football player, in case you haven't heard of him: Haaland,” Ruud said. “He's doing pretty good at the moment.”

Ruud is a famously understated guy, but “pretty good” is arguably the understatement of the year when it comes to the talented Haaland.

The 22-year-old striker was signed by Manchester City this summer after a multi-million dollar bidding war, with other European soccer heavyweights like Real Madrid and Bayern Munich also showing interest. And he’s already made history for his new club, having scored 10 goals in only six Premier League appearances including back-to-back hat-tricks.

“He's the biggest athlete star we have in Norway, I think,” Ruud said. “A lot of people are watching him and the winter sports.”

But while Haaland is grabbing all the headlines back home, world No. 7 Ruud’s own exploits have not been forgotten.

“We have obviously also a golfer [Viktor Hovland] who is top 10 in the world who people enjoy following. I guess also it's a little bit the same with tennis,” he added, smiling.


Ruud improved to 45-15 on the season after his US Open fourth-round victory over Corentin Moutet.

Ruud improved to 45-15 on the season after his US Open fourth-round victory over Corentin Moutet.

“Tennis is not always too easy for Norwegians to follow, because we play in different time zones in a different part of the world all the time,” Ruud explained. “It's not always easy to catch the right times to when I'm playing and all these things.

“But it's growing, and I'm happy that it is.”

Ruud will take on Berrettini in the US Open quarterfinals on Tuesday—the same day Haaland's Manchester City are set to take on Sevilla in the first round of Champions League.

Time for a Norwegian television split-screen!