Australian Open 2021
Start of the season
Coming into 2021 the world is still fighting a pandemic and Tennis Australia had to overcome many difficult decisions and situations. With strict protocols and rules, they managed to organize 250 events and Australian Open 2021. Very impressive.
The team arrived Australia in the middle of January and quarantined for 2 weeks with limited access to courts, fysio and gym. Nevertheless, they were happy to be there, at the first Grand Slam of the year. Nearly 10 weeks with no tournaments and Casper was ready and excited.
Seeded for the second time in a Grand Slam but a tough draw playing Jordan Thompson in the first round. Casper had been working on his hardcourt game in the off season and felt good. He was up 2 sets to love when Jordan unfortunately had to retire in the third set with an injury.
Tommy Paul was his second round opponent and another great hardcourt player. Tommy started off very good giving Casper little to work with and he lost the first set 3-6. He continued to fight and got his game going forcing more mistakes from Paul and eventually winning in 4 sets 3-6 6-2 6-4 7-5. Casper was very happy with the win.
In the third round he was playing Radu Albot. They know each other well and they have practiced a lot together.
The match turned out to be a very good fight and good level of tennis. Casper started off best and won the first set 6-1, Rado came back and won the second set 7-5. The two next sets were very close with long rallies and pushing the limits. Casper felt he played a very good match earning the victory and a spot in the fourth round in a Grand Slam for the first time. A big win for him and through to the second week for the first time.
Next opponent: A. Rublev. A strong player with the most wins on the tour in 2020. Casper was ready and pumped. Unfortunately he had been feeling some pain in the abdominal muscle but was hoping it would not get worse and in the way. In the first set Rublev was ruthless and Casper lost the set 2-6. He fought back in the second but feeling his pulled muscle more and more. Adding more painkillers, the pain let go for a while. A very good second set from Casper but ending up losing it on a tie-break and then having to retire in order not to worsen the injury by pushing the limits.
He felt sad but also felt like he made the right decision.
All in all, Casper´s best Grand Slam performance also earning him a career high ranking of ATP #24.