Finally it is Casper Ruud who will have pulled himself out of the bottom of the table, made more open by the absences of Novak Djokovic (head of series 1) but also Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz. In the Roland-Garros semifinal, the Norwegian (23 years old, 8th in the world) was able to take advantage of Marin Cilic extreme fever to stun him in four sets (3-6, 6-4, 6. -2, 6 -2) and 2:55.
The author of 56 unforced errors, the Croatian has never been able to find the balance point between his tennis on offense and excessive risk-taking. It is therefore Ruud who will face Rafael Nadal on Sunday, the winner from Alexander Zverev’s abandonment earlier in the afternoon. Even if the lack of experience is great (the Spaniard will play there in his fourteenth Porte d’Auteuil final and he won the first thirteen), the Scandinavians will sell his skin at a high price. It is an extremely difficult car to disassemble.
Faced with Ruud’s scary coverage, Cilic often blamed early in the game. Especially on the kick, a kick in which he was visibly choosing. Yet it was he who made the first decision, crashing a winning comeback (4-3, break). And it’s still in a winning comeback that he completes the round. Even if Ruud defended himself harshly, we felt he was a little shy, perhaps bound by the solemnity of a half-Grand Slam.
Cilic was upset
Much more aggressive since the start of the second set, the Norwegian finally chose to take more initiatives. He was rewarded with a break in the third game, after a big foul on his rival’s arm. Despite a 2-1 break point, we felt Ruud was taking over, especially mentally, often forcing Cilic to make a mistake. The overall level was trying to rise. In a half-empty stadium (while all the tickets were sold out …), the semi-final looked empty. Cilic however won three break points at 5-4, 0-40. But Ruud dismissed them with the authority of an old veteran.
Extremely upset by the turn of the match, Cilic fiercely attacked his box. Worse, his tennis was gradually disintegrating, to the point that he cashed in on a double break (4-0) in the third act. The intervention of an environmental protester who climbed behind the net, both knees on the ground, then interrupted the match for a good ten minutes, at 4-1, 15A. But the incident did not prevent Ruud from marching forward (5-1, then 6-2).
The first time a Norwegian passes the Roland-Garos final
The Norwegian gave the final blow in the first match of the last set. An anti-depreciation miracle, followed by a winning wing comeback, gave him a break. Which he raised without ever retiring (4-1, break break). Adrift, Cilic made unforced errors. Ruud completed his work with an ACE. This is the first time a Norwegian player has reached the Roland-Garros final.