After semi-finals in his last two appearances at the Rome Masters, Casper Ruud is dreaming of taking his progress in Italy one step further as he begins play this week.

The Norwegian dropped in at home after Madrid last week, but quickly got out of the Arctic area due to the chilly weather.

“I went home for a couple days, but it was a little cold still in Norway, so it was better to come here early and prepare, feel the courts, feel the conditions and all these things.”

The world No. 4 who reached Roland Garros and US Open finals last season, is fine with the conditions at Rome which can skew towards slow when compared to the altitude of Madrid where he lost in his opening round.

“Coming  from Madrid, the conditions are quite slow because Madrid is very fast,” he said on Tuesday.

“It feels like you have all the time in the world to play. That’s something that maybe suits my game a little better. I have more time to set up my shots. 

“I have more time when I’m returning from the back of the court; that can be a reason why it’s been going well (here)”

But the Norseman added: “It’s also just pretty bouncy here. The weather is nice, not too hot, not too cold 25-26 Celsius).

“Last year was sort of the turning point of the clay season for me here in Rome. I hope this year I can have a good result.

“That’s not been happening so far. Hopefully I can turn around here in Rome.”