Each weekday, we'll preview one must-see match that you'll find on Tennis Channel Plus, the digital network for the devoted tennis fan. To subscribe to Tennis Channel Plus, go to BuyTCPlus.com
If you're a fan of Scandinavian tennis, Wednesday's qualifying matches at Roland Garros probably have something for you. Sweden's Rebecca Peterson, the second seed in the women's tournament, begins her qualifying quest against Misaki Doi, who less than two years ago was ranked in the Top 30. Elias Ymer, a highly touted 22-year-old from Sweden, follows his 0-6, 7-5, 6-1 first-round win with a match against experienced dirtballer Facundo Bagnis.
But as much as I enjoy Sweden's athletic exports, the New York Rangers fan that I am, I'm turning to Norway for the Tennis Channel Plus Match of the Day. That's because of Casper Ruud. Like Ymer, Ruud is a player you can expect to see more of in the coming years. But the future isn't the reason I'm following Ruud at the present. It's because Ruud's favorite surface is clay, and he grew up idolizing Rafael Nadal.
"Perhaps it’s no surprise the 19-year-old Norwegian notched his first ATP tour-level match win on the red clay of Rio de Janeiro early last season," wrote Blair Henley for TENNIS Magazine's 2018 season preview. "Not satisfied with a single victory, Ruud went on to reach the semifinals as the lowest-ranked player in the Rio draw. He collected two more ATP wins during the 2017 clay swing, propelling him to a career-high rank of No. 108 in the world."
WATCH—Ruud vs. Paul at the 2017 Citi Open: