The Norwegian Casper Ruud won in four sets (3-6, 6-4, 6-2, 6-2) against the Croatian Marin Cilic in the semi-finals of Roland-Garros. At 23, he will play his very first Grand Slam final on Sunday against the Spaniard Rafael Nadal who is seeking a 14th crown on clay in Paris.
Casper Ruud in the big leagues. At 23, the Norwegian dismissed Croatian Marin Cilic in four sets (3-6, 6-4, 6-2, 6-2) in the second men’s semi-final at Roland-Garros. On Sunday, he will play against Rafael Nadal, the very first final of his career in a Grand Slam tournament. The Spaniard qualified earlier in the day, taking advantage of Alexander Zverev’s injury retirement.
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“I admire Rafa, he is the perfect example of how you should behave on the court: never give up, and never complain. He has always been my idol,” smiled Ruud. “It’s extraordinary. It’s the last member of the ‘Big 3’ that I haven’t faced yet, it was worth the wait, in the Grand Slam final, it’s the perfect timing. It will be a special moment for me,” he added.
A match interrupted after an intrusion on the court
In the third set, at 4-1 in favor of Ruud, the match was interrupted about fifteen minutes after the intrusion of a woman claiming to be from an organization for the defense of the climate, who attached herself to the net before being evacuated by security guards. Both players were briefly sent back to the locker room. Before that, Ruud had already taken control of the match after giving up the first set to the winner of the 2014 US Open. He was not unsettled by this incident. Before this 2022 edition of Roland-Garros, Casper Ruud, who fell Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the first round, had never passed the round of 16 in a Grand Slam.
Casper Ruud, a Norwegian tennis pioneer
The native of Oslo, former world number 1 junior, is a regular at firsts for tennis in his country. He is, in fact, the first Norwegian to find a place in the top 10 (in April) but also the first to win an ATP title, the first to reach a Masters 1000 final (Miami in early April) and finally the first to qualify for the end-of-season Masters (2021).
Clay is undoubtedly his favorite surface. Since 2020, he is the player who has won the most matches (65) and the most titles (7). With his first major final, Ruud is already guaranteed to climb to the best ranking of his career next week, to 6th place in the world.