Winner of Holger Rune, Casper Ruud joins Marin Cilic in the semi-finals of Roland-Garros

Holger Rune’s impressive career at Roland-Garros came to an end this Wednesday evening. Logically beaten in four sets by the Norwegian Casper Ruud in the quarter-finals (6-1, 4-6, 7-6 [2]6-3), the 19-year-old Dane, who beat Stefanos Tsitsipas in the round of 16, gave in after 3:15 of play. Ruud, 8th player in the world, joined the Croatian Marin Cilic in the last four.

The Norwegian is certainly the most discreet member of the top 10. And even during this Roland-Garros, we especially associated his name with that of his opponent in the first round, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, for whom it was the last stand. It is also just if he had consented to the post-match interview, on the Chatrier, so as not to interfere in the ceremony of homage to the first retiree of the four Musketeers. Normal to be a little transparent when your name is Casper, you will tell us. But no matter: without making noise, here is Ruud qualified for his first semi-final in Grand Slam, at 23 years old.

And it’s ultimately not so illogical, for a player who is constantly improving and who is now ranked 5th in Race behind Nadal, Alcaraz, Tsitsipas and Zverev. Winner of the Geneva tournament just before arriving at Porte d’Auteuil, he has won nine in a row and his last setback dates back to the semi-final in Rome, lost against world No. 1 Novak Djokovic. “It’s a machine, it brings everything back”explained C├ędric Pioline when he was asked about the player against whom he would hate to play.

A final against his idol Nadal?

To reach the last four, the son of Christian Ruud, 39th in the world in 1995, benefited from a fairly steep course, compared to the top of the table. After Tsonga, he dominated the Finn Ruusuvuori (61st), struggled against the Italian Lorenzo Sonego (35th, who led 2 sets to 1), was solid against a Hubert Hurkacz (13th) not particularly known for his appetite for the ground and took advantage of the Tsitsipas scarecrow road exit against Rune.

Facing the 19-year-old Dane, against whom he led 3-0 in their previous confrontations, he first went it alone (1 set and 1 break) before releasing his grip in the face of the nerve of the tempestuous young man in the cap. Upside down. But he made an extremely solid tie-break in the third set and concluded on his second match point in the fourth, just after breaking on his fourth opportunity. This Nadal fan is one game away from playing a potential Roland-Garros final against his idol.


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