French Open: Ruud overcomes feisty Rune to make history for Norway

By Sports Desk June 01, 2022

Casper Ruud became the first Norwegian man to make a grand slam semi-final after seeing off teenager Holger Rune in four sets at the French Open.

Wednesday's encounter was already a history maker, with Ruud having become the first male player from Norway to have reached a major quarter-final, while Rune was the first from Denmark to make the last eight at Roland Garros.

Yet while Rune at times showed the volatility of youth – albeit with flashes of the quality that makes the world number 40 one of the brightest prospects on the ATP Tour – Ruud's composure got him through in the end as the 23-year-old prevailed 6-1 4-6 7-6 (7-2) 6-3.

Ruud breezed through the first set, striking four aces and 14 winners on his way to claiming the opener 6-1 with a little over 30 minutes on court.

Yet any chances of Rune rolling over were dispelled when the youngster broke Ruud straight back after conceding serve to go 3-2 down in the second set.

Having fended off a break point, the crucial double break came Rune's way to seal the 55-minute second set 6-4.

Rune endured a nervy hold of serve to start the third set, and once again the Dane – vocal in his frustration throughout – showed great resilience to hit back and break immediately after Ruud had nosed ahead at 4-3.

A second break point of the set went missing for Ruud, but the Norwegian was clinical in the tie-break, getting on top of Rune with some aggressive shots to regain the momentum.

With the match edging over three hours, Ruud upped the tempo, easily holding on each of his serves but making Rune work hard on his own.

Three unforced Rune errors handed Ruud three breakpoints, with the chance to serve for the match begging, yet the 19-year-old's resolve came to the fore again as he clawed his way to deuce with a wonderful cross-court forehand.

But this time, Rune could not swing the pendulum in his favour as Ruud broke at the fourth attempt, with a supreme forehand winner down the line sealing his victory.

Data slam: Maiden grand slam semi for Ruud

The world number eight is enjoying a fine season. He already has two titles under his belt, including a triumph in Geneva prior to the French Open, which followed on from reaching the semi-finals in the Internazionali d'Italia.

But for the first time in his career, he is into the final four of a major, with Marin Cilic (the fourth Croatian male player to reach the Roland Garros semi-finals in the Open Era) standing in his way of a place in the final.

Ruud – 55/24
Rune – 54/46

Ruud – 13/1
Rune – 1/4

Ruud – 5/17
Rune – 3/6

Related items

  • Kane calls for calm but accepts England not good enough Kane calls for calm but accepts England not good enough

    Harry Kane called for some perspective following England's 1-1 Euro 2024 draw against Denmark but accepts his side were not good enough.

    England failed to build on a 1-0 win over Serbia in their Group C opener as they saw Kane's opener cancelled out by Morten Hjulmand in Thursday's match in Frankfurt.

    Gareth Southgate's side once again failed to push on after taking the lead in a game and supporters made their frustrations known.

    The draw means England have still yet to ever win their first two matches at a European Championship, with their place in the last 16 not yet certain.

    And Kane - the third man to score at four different major tournaments for England along with Michael Owen and Wayne Rooney - admits an improvement is needed.

    "We're struggling with and without the ball," he told BBC Sport. "The pressing in both games hasn't been quite right, and with the ball we haven't been good enough – that's from top to bottom, from me to Picks (Jordan Pickford). 

    "It was tough out there with the heat and the pitch. It wasn't our greatest game but we got away with a draw.

    "There's no easy games at major tournaments and I think that's being shown. There are levels we can reach, with and without the ball, but it’s a sign of a good team that you can get results when you’re not playing well."

    England sit top of Group C with four points from two matches and will guarantee a place in the knockouts with a draw against Slovenia on Tuesday, while a win sees them through in top spot.

    "We're top of the group and we've all but qualified," added Kane, who was substituted with 20 minutes to go. "I know there’ll be loads of noise and a bit of disappointment at home, but we experienced this when we drew with Scotland in the last Euros. 


    "It's a time to stay calm, reflect and try to improve. Step by step, we'll get there."

    Kane's opener was his fifth goal at the Euros, making him the first England player and the eighth from any country to score five or more in both this competition and the World Cup.

    However, Hjulmand levelled 16 minutes later with a shot from 30 yards - his first goal for Denmark in all competitions on what was his ninth appearance - and England could not find a response of their own.

    Southgate's side dropped deep after going in front, as they did against Serbia and have done in recent tournaments, and Kane believes that is an area that needs working on.

    "It’s not just when we score that [we drop deep]," he said. "It's something we need to get better at. When the teams drop a few players deeper, we're not sure how who's supposed to be pressing. 

    "In the second half we tried to change it a bit with me and Jude [Bellingham] playing in front of their two midfielders and then trying to get up. But it was difficult. Credit to Denmark, they’re a really good side and they carried a threat."

    England have now won just two of their past eight competition meetings with Denmark, and this most recent result means they are unable to rest up against Slovenia.

    Reflecting on the disappointing performance, Southgate told BBC Sport: "The performance was not what we would have hoped. At the moment we're not using the ball well enough, and if you do that you'll suffer as we have at times tonight. There's another level we have to find.

    "There's a huge amount of work to do - that's evident. We have to stay tight. We understand people will be disappointed with the performances, and rightly so. We've got make them better."

  • Defending champion Alcaraz stunned by Draper at Queen's Defending champion Alcaraz stunned by Draper at Queen's

    Jack Draper earned the biggest win of his career, upsetting defending Queen's Club champion Carlos Alcaraz in straight sets on Thursday.

    He followed up his first ATP tour title in Stuttgart with a statement win, beating the French Open winner 7-6 (7-3) 6-3.

    He did not lose a service game in a dominant display, though Alcaraz did not lose one in the opening set either, forcing a tie-break before his sloppiness allowed Draper to edge in front.

    Despite Alcaraz bringing his usual threat, Draper got a vital break to make it 4-2 in the second set, rallying to see out a third victory against top-10 opposition.

    Draper will play fifth seed Tommy Paul in the quarter-finals.

    Data Debrief: Alcaraz sees streak snapped

    Alcaraz had won eight consecutive matches coming into this meeting thanks to his victory at Roland Garros, but could not find a way past Draper.

    The British number one impressed, especially in his serves, winning 76 per cent of his service points during the one hour 39 minute contest.


  • Sinner rallies to reach Halle Open quarter-finals Sinner rallies to reach Halle Open quarter-finals

    Jannik Sinner survived a scare to reach the quarter-finals of the Halle Open after beating Fabian Marozsan on Thursday.

    After having to go all the way in the opening round, Sinner was once again forced into a decider but eventually came out on top 6-4 6-7 (4-7) 6-3.

    It looked like it might be an easier match for Sinner after he took the first set, but Marozsan rallied in the second. The world number one was able to force a tie-break, but he could not get the better of the Hungarian's aggressive play.

    Sinner did get a decisive break in the decider though, lunging to the net to get a vital point as he rushed into a 4-0 lead before holding out to reach the next round.

    Data Debrief: Sinner stays in the hunt

    Sinner is still chasing his first grass-court title, and looks like he will be pushed all the way to get one in Germany.

    He has improved his record for the season to 35-3 after beating Marozsan in their first ATP meeting.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.