Holger Rune winner Casper Ruud joins Marin Cilic in Roland Garros semi-finals

Holger Rune winner Casper Ruud joins Marin Cilic in Roland Garros semi-finals


Holger Rune’s impressive run at Roland Garros ended this Wednesday night. Logically beaten in four sets by Norwegian Casper Ruud in the quarterfinals (6-1, 4-6, 7-6 [2]6-3), the 19-year-old Dane, Stefanos Tsitsipas’ knockout in the round of 16, gave up after 3:15 of play. Ruud, the 8th player in the world, joins Croatian Marin Cilic in the last square.

The Norwegian is certainly the most discreet member of the top 10. And even in this Roland Garros, his name was mostly associated with that of his opponent in the first round, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, of whom he was the baroud of honor. It was just that he had agreed to the post-match interview, on the Chatrier, so as not to interfere in the homage ceremony of the first retiree of the four Musketeers. Normal to be a little transparent when you call yourself Casper, you tell us. But whatever: without making a fuss, here is Ruud qualified for his first Grand Slam semifinal at the age of 23.

And it is not so illogical in the end, for a player in constant progress and who is now ranked 5th in the Race behind Nadal, Alcaraz, Tsitsipas and Zverev. Winner of the Geneva tournament just before arriving at Porte d’Auteuilis nine wins away and his last setback dates back to Rome’s semi-final, which he lost to world No. 1 Novak Djokovic. “It’s a machine, it brings everything back”explained Cédric Pioline when asked about the player he would hate to play against.

A final against his idol Nadal?

To reach the last square, the son of Christian Ruud, 39th in the world in 1995, benefited from a rather steep course, compared to the top of the table. After Tsonga, he dominated the Finn Ruusuvuori (61st), gallant against the Italian Lorenzo Sonego (35th, who led 2 innings to 1), was solid against a Hubert Hurkacz (13th) not especially known for his appetite for the land and take advantage of the Tsitsipas scarecrow’s exit from Rune.

Against the 19-year-old Dane, against whom he led 3-0 in their previous confrontations, he first rode alone (1 set and 1 break) before releasing his embrace against the butt of the stormy young man in the cap upside down. But he made an extremely solid tie-break in the third inning and finished on his second game ball in the fourth, just after breaking on his fourth chance. This Nadal fan is one game away from playing a potential Roland-Garros final against his idol.

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