Marin Cilic joins Roger Federer, Rafa Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray as the only active players to have made the semis at all the majors; the veteran faces Norwegian eighth seed Casper Ruud for a spot in Sunday's French Open final
Thursday 2 June 2022 00:24, UK
Marin Cilic's French Open renaissance continued as the Croatian reached his first Grand Slam semi-final in four years with a clash against Norwegian Casper Ruud to come.
Cilic, who won the US Open in 2014 and was a Wimbledon finalist three years later, beat Andrey Rublev 5-7 6-3 6-4 3-6 7-6 (10-2) after a deciding-set tie-break.
The 33-year-old will face Ruud in the last four after the eighth seed ended the fairy-tale run of Holger Rune 6-1 4-6 7-6 (7-2) 6-3 to reach his first Grand Slam semi-final.
Cilic is a player in red-hot form having impressed in a straight-sets win against world No 2 Daniil Medvedev in the quarter-finals.
The Croatian again relied on 33 aces and huge forehand to make up for 71 unforced errors in a four-hour, 14-minute slugfest.
He said: "The win comes from being me, I played that kind of tennis the whole match. Especially the fifth set was an incredible battle.
"Andrey played incredibly well, it was an incredibly fair-play performance on the court.
"A lot of heart. One had to go down and today was my day. But Andrey also played an incredible match. Bad luck to him.
"I felt more tired emotionally out there because Andrey plays a difficult game, he serves big, hits big, and you don't have many chances.
"You have to keep up with your level, which I did. Unfortunately, I lost that fourth set. I thought I was close to getting the break.
"When you play this long, there will always be ups and downs in the match but I kept my focus in the fifth."
In the final quarter-final, Danish teenager Rune had accounted for Wimbledon semi-finalist Denis Shapovalov and fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas during a breakout fortnight, but he found Ruud too hot to handle in defeat.
"Of course a lot of nerves all day to get going. It's tough to find calm and peace," Ruud said. "I started great but Holger fought back and raised his level."
"I had played him three times already, now fourth, I guess I know a little bit how he plays. He plays fearless, goes for big shots."
"It's a big day for Norwegian tennis," Ruud added. "I will use tomorrow to prepare. These matches are the ones you are dreaming about playing."
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