In the semi-finals of the French Open, Casper Ruud lost the first set to a motivated Marin Cilic, but the Norwegian recovered to win the match 3-6 6-4 6-2 6-2.
It was a fascinating encounter that lasted over three hours and saw Ruud defeat Cilic. The Croatian continued to attack aggressively as he had done throughout the tournament. Many people were astonished by Ruud’s degree of aggression, which was rather high. He dropped the first set primarily because Cilic was playing well overall.
“I played some of my best tennis”- Casper Ruud
He was serving and hitting well, and it’s difficult to beat him when that happens. Cilic hit 15 winners in the first set, while Ruud had only three. In the second set, everything shifted since they were now on an equal footing. Ruud won a tight set 6-4 to even the match at 1-1. Cilic earned one more win, but he also had seven more errors. That proved to be too much in the end.
The fourth set was easily won by Ruud as Cilic continued to make errors. Cilic had more errors than winners in the opening set, and that was too much to overcome. Ruud also served exceptionally effectively throughout the match, leaving Marin Cilic with limited opportunities. Cilic made a few more errors in the final set, bringing his total to 51 winners and 56 errors. Ruud had 39 and 21 points in the semifinals and will meet Rafael Nadal in the final.
Speaking after the match, Casper Ruud explained his route to victory after falling behind. “It was a great match from my side,” he started. “I didn’t start the greatest. I was too defensive and I was able to break him in the second set and that got me going, and then I played some of my best tennis. Super happy with the performance today. I think Marin is usually the one playing very fast and very hard, and that was the feeling I got. I figured I needed to step up and counterattack and go for some faster shots, and it worked. I changed a little bit but I also raised my level.”
Ruud talked about his opponent on Sunday, Rafael Nadal, whose Mallorca academy he joined in 2018. “Looking up to Rafa, the player I’m going to play in the final, he never complains,” he said. “Perfect. He’s a perfect example of how you should be on court, never give up, never complain. He’s been my idol for all my life.”
“It’s amazing, he’s the last player of the big three of the top players in the world I have never played against. This is perfect timing and worth the wait. To play him in the Grand Slam final will be a special moment for me, and hopefully, for him – he’s going to be playing a student from his academy. It’s going to be a fun one,” he concluded.