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French Open: Cilic beats Rublev, plays Ruud in semis

Marin Cilic’s quarter-final victory over seventh seed Andrey Rublev makes him the only Croatian who has reached the semi-finals in all major Grand Slam tournaments in history.

The blistering 2014 US Open champion, who defeated world number 2, Daniil Medvedev, in the fourth round at Roland Garros, was forced to a deciding five-set thriller to edge out Rublev of the Grand Slam event in a 5-7 6-3 6-4 3-6 7-6 (10-2) win.

Rublev, who defeated Novak Djokovic in the Serbian Open to clinch its 2022 edition diadem, qualified for the quarter-final of the French Open after recording a walkover against Italian Jannik Sinner.

“The win comes from being me, I played that kind of tennis the whole match. Especially the fifth set was an incredible battle,” Cilic said after the victory.

“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.

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“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,” he added.

Consequently, Cilic will play Norwegian Casper Ruud who ended the maiden campaign of teenage Holger Rune at Roland Garros in the quarter-final.

Ruud in four sets match, outperformed breath-gasping Hune to reach his first semifinal in a Grand Slam event.

Ruud said, “Of course a lot of nerves all day to get going. It’s tough to find calm and peace.

“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 and goes for big shots.

“It’s a big day for Norwegian tennis. I will use tomorrow to prepare. These matches are the ones you are dreaming about playing,” he added.

Casper Ruud and Marin Cilic, first-time semifinalists at the French Open, will slug it out in the semifinal at Philippe Chatrier.

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