French Open: Ruud basks in 'big day' for Norwegian tennis

By Sports Desk June 01, 2022

Casper Ruud beamed following his French Open quarter-final win over Holger Rune, proclaiming Tuesday a "big day" for Norwegian tennis.

Following compatriot Ulrikke Eikeri's progression to the mixed-doubles final with Belgian Joran Vliegen, Ruud defeated Rune 6-1 4-6 7-6 (7-2) 6-3 on Court Philippe-Chatrier.

The 23-year-old had already secured his best finish at a grand slam before the win, having never previously progressed past the fourth round.

Despite becoming the first Norwegian man to make a major semi-final, Ruud was inclined to share the spotlight with Elkeri and her own success.

"A big day for Norwegian tennis, because we have also a female player Ulrikke Eikeri who made the finals of mixed doubles today," Ruud said post-match. "She’s even one step further than me!

"She will play for probably the biggest title of her life tomorrow, so I wish her luck."

He held off a spirited challenge from Rune after taking the first set in comfortable fashion, with the 19-year-old Dane securing a double break to win the second set.

Ruud showed his experience in what proved to be a critical third set, starting to anticipate Rune's variation in shot selection, stepping onto drop shots and upping the tempo from the baseline.

After claiming the third-set tie-break with relative comfort, the eighth seed closed out with an assured fourth, setting up a semi-final with the resurgent Marin Cilic.

"When you play best of five sets you will face some difficulties, some challenging moments and some good ones hopefully," Ruud said. "The third set was key for me to win. It was a long one and a very close one. It was a nice feeling to sit down and having a two sets to one lead.

"These are the matches you dream about playing and hopefully of course even the final, if it's possible. I have to be really focused and bring my A-game in the semi-final, because Marin has played great all week and it's going to be another tough match.

"That's going to be a very tough match. [Cilic] seems like he's playing some of the best tennis of his life at the moment, here in Roland Garros."

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