French Open: Marin Cilic Defeats Andrey Rublev To Enter Men’s Semi-final | Tennis News


Marin Cilic in action against Andrey Rublev.© AFP

Croatia’s Marin Cilic fired 33 aces past seventh-seeded Andrey Rublev to reach his first French Open semi-final on Wednesday with a 5-7, 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (10/2) win. Cilic, the 2014 US Open champion, also crashed 88 winners in the four-hour 10-minute tie and will play either eighth-seeded Casper Ruud of Norway or Danish teenager Holger Rune for a place in Sunday’s final. The 33-year-old Cilic becomes only the fifth active men’s player after Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Andy Murray to make the semi-finals at all four Slams.

“The fifth set was an incredible battle,” said Cilic who is in his first Slam semi-final in four years. “Andrey played so well. Today was my day. He just didn’t have the luck.”

Rublev, playing and eventually losing his fifth quarter-final at the majors, grabbed the first set but wilted under a Cilic barrage over the next two.

The Croatian had stunned world number two Daniil Medvedev in the fourth round and he rediscovered that free-swinging assault to level the contest with a 17th ace on a fifth set point.

He pocketed the third with a lone break in the seventh game. Rublev, who had knocked Cilic out of the Australian Open in January, battled back with a crucial break in the eighth game of the fourth set.

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Cilic, the 2017 Wimbledon and 2018 Australian Open runner-up to Federer, had a match point saved in the ninth game of the decider but swept through the super tiebreaker. In the night match, 19-year-old Holger Rune of Denmark takes on Norwegian eighth seed Casper Ruud as both men eye landmark runs to the semi-finals.

“He was serving very well,” said Rublev. “I relaxed after the first set but then I wasn’t thinking.  “I could not manage the emotions in the previous quarter-finals. Today I was close.”

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