Roland-Garros: Casper Ruud qualifies for his first Grand Slam final against his idol Rafael Nadal

Roland-Garros: Casper Ruud qualifies for his first Grand Slam final against his idol Rafael Nadal

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Casper Ruud's joy after his victory against Marin Cilic, in the Roland-Garros semifinal, in Paris, on June 3, 2022.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will be able to say that he ended his career mistreating the Roland-Garros finalist. Even better. Lost to the French in the first round, the Norwegian Casper Ruud qualified, on Friday, June 3, for the final of the Parisian Grand Slam tournament, winning in four sets (3-6, 6-4, 6-2). Croatian Marin Cilic. , 6-2). The 23-year-old right-hander from the North will face his childhood idol and quasi-owner of the venue, Rafael Nadal, on Sunday.

“He has been my idol all my life, and this is where we will meet for the first time”, marveled the winner after the match, at the microphone of Fabrice Santoro. Apart from Nadal, the youngster has rubbed elbows with the best players, and enjoys reconnecting on the biggest stage of Roland-Garros with which he won his thirteen finals at the Porte d’Auteuil. “It’s the perfect time, and it was worth the wait. And I hope it’s worth it to him too, he played so many finals here.the Norwegian smiled. But at least this time it will be against a student from his academy. » Because at the end of 2018, struggling to break into the elite, the young man invited himself to the newly opened “Rafa Nadal Academy”, established on the native island of Mallorca.

Also read: Article reserved for our subscribers At Roland-Garros, Casper Ruud no longer wants to play as extras

After an early match in which Marin Cilic extended the state of grace that has been in him since the start of the tournament, the Norwegian slowly eased into the game. Far from panicking over the first round loss, Ruud gradually reversed the trend. His childhood game on clay -clay-court- frustrated the Croatian giant: with clockwork regularity from the baseline, this son of a former 39me world relied on his forehand to undermine his opponent. However, Marin Cilic was cautious. “I have already played twice against Casper [deux défaites]. He is one of the best players on the tour, especially on clay. He loves to play on this surface”. assured before the match.

But like Dane Holger’s Rune in the previous round, Cilic was unable to solve the equation proposed by the world number 8. If the Croatian, one of the most popular players on the circuit, did not lose his temper like the young Dane – who later accused Ruud of talking to him the entire match, denouncing a “unsportsmanlike behavior”which the Norwegian denied – he could not do anything.

He is not a “flashy” player

“I didn’t start well, but Marín was playing very well”, Casper Ruud expounded after the meeting, explaining having had to adapt, then having “counterattacked, changed a bit [son] game, and above all raised [son] game level ».

Not long ago, the Norwegian recognized “Not be a ‘flashy’ player who is going to try huge shots or ‘trick shots’ all over the place. » The first player from his country to reach a Grand Slam final, he wants to be more realistic. “My game is to work against, and clay is the surface that best corresponds to this style” he continued, in an interview with the ATP. His secret is, above all, to never rush.

Patient, Casper Ruud is. Even when it came to waiting for a climate activist, who came online to protest government inaction, to be evacuated. “When I was younger, I was more emotional, more negative too, exposed the player. But over the years, I’ve become more mature. And Rafa is also a perfect example of the behavior you have to have, of always being focused on the game.

Asked about the end of his semifinal truncated by the injury of the German Alexander Zverev, his future rival was full of praise for the one who attended his tennis academy in the Balearic Islands on several occasions. “For me there is no real surprise, Casper is one of the candidates [aux titres du Grand Chelem]. is one of those who can wingreeted Rafael Nadal. Whenever there is an event on clay, he is one of the favorites. It is not a surprise at all. »

Also read: Rafael Nadal will play his fourteenth final at Roland-Garros after the abandonment of Alexander Zverev

As from the beginning of the fortnight, Casper Ruud discreetly prolonged the adventure at Roland-Garros. After a first lap in which his victory was overshadowed by the retirement of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga – which he accommodated without worry – and several laps without making a wave, the Norwegian dominated Marin Cilic without losing his temper. A ace (direct serve) completed the match, after 2:55 of play (ie less than the unfinished match between Nadal and Zverev). And here is Casper Ruud one step away from a first Grand Slam title. To achieve this, the task promises to be immense: he will not only have to dismantle the absolute owner of the Parisian clay court; but, perhaps harder, he will have to accept defeating his idol.

Roland-Garros: the semi-final between Ruud and Cilic interrupted by a climate activist

A young activist interrupted the second men's semi-final at Roland-Garros on Friday.

The scene stunned spectators at the Philippe-Chatrier court. On Friday, June 3, the Roland-Garros semi-final between Norway’s Casper Ruud and Croatia’s Marin Cilic was interrupted for several minutes by a climate activist breaking into the ground. “We have one thousand twenty-eight days left,” was written on the young woman’s shirt, which stuck to the net, stopping the game.

“I entered the field because I can no longer take the risk of doing nothing in the face of the climate emergency”claims the activist on his organization’s website, Last Renovation, which claims to be “entry into civil resistance” against government climate inaction. Widely booed by the tournament audience, the young woman was gently evacuated by security before play resumed.

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