This will be a first for both players. At the end of the effort, world number eight Casper Ruud became the very first Norwegian to qualify for the last four of a grand slam tournament by beating the young Danish talent Holger Rune (6-1, 4-6, 7-6 (7/2), 6-3) in the quarter-finals of Roland-Garros, Wednesday June 1. He will find in the next round the Croatian Marin Cilic, who fell earlier in the day from the Russian Andrey Rublev after an intense fight (5-7, 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 [2] ).

Before this 2022 edition of Roland-Garros, Casper Ruud had never passed the round of 16 in a grand slam. “I was very nervous all day,” confessed the 23-year-old Norwegian, who “got to sleep a bit after breakfast.” With clay as his preferred surface, the Oslo native is the player who has won the most matches (64) and the most titles (7) since 2020.

On the lit Central on Wednesday evening, Ruud made his regularity speak for itself, hitting 55 winning shots for only 24 unforced errors, and thus ending the nice course of Holger Rune, author of 46 unforced errors for a winning move less than his evening opponent. The Norwegian won after 3:14 a.m., after a match that once again ended beyond half past midnight. The day before, the clash between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic had held in suspense until past 1 a.m.

For his part, Marin Cilic, former world number three now 23rd, also qualified for the first time in his career for the semi-finals of Roland-Garros. The Croatian offers himself a performance of choice here since he is, with the “Big Four” (Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Andy Murray), the only active player to have managed to reach the semi-finals of the four grand slam tournaments.

“The fifth set was an incredible battle,” Cilic said. Andrey (Rublev) played so well… Today is my day, but he was unlucky”. After crushing world number two Daniil Medvedev in the previous round, the tall Croatian (1.98m) hit 88 winners, including 33 aces (for 71 unforced errors), against Rublev, to win at the end of the day. first super tie-break (5-7, 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 [2]) disputed on the Central of Roland-Garros, after 4 h 10 min of match.

He had obtained a first match point a few minutes earlier, 5 games to 4 on the service of the Russian player. “I’m mostly emotionally tired,” admitted the 30-something Croatian. When you play for so long, there are always ups and downs.” Marin Cilic will play the sixth major semi-final of his career on Friday (3 wins, 2 losses). The first for almost four and a half years (Australian Open 2018, beaten in the final by Federer). The other semi-final on Friday will pit Nadal, thirteen times crowned on Parisian clay, against world number three Alexander Zverev.