Roland-Garros: Casper Ruud joins Alexander Zverev in semifinals

Norway's Casper Ruud, world No. 4 and outgoing finalist, stopped the young Dane Holger Rune (6th) 6-1, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 in the quarterfinals of Roland-Garros on Wednesday, as in 2022, and joins Germany's Alexander Zverev in the last four.

Casper Ruud at Roland-Garros, June 7, 2023, in Paris. © Pierre René-Worms / RFI

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At 24, Ruud will play in the third major semifinal of his career. The Norwegian has won the first two, already at Roland Garros and the US Open in 2022, but he lost each time in the final afterwards, against Rafael Nadal in Paris, and Alcaraz in New York. His victory on Wednesday against Rune (20) is his first against a player in the top 10 in 2023, he who had a very average season before Roland-Garros. It was also his first Grand Slam.

For the first two sets, Rune was a shadow of his former self, and Ruud didn't have to force his talent to escape. With 18 direct faults in the first set, then another 14 in the second, the bubbling Dane helped him very much. "Holgy", who appeared tired as soon as he entered Centre Court, regained colour in the third set, after nevertheless having to discard a break ball in his first service game. But Ruud was able to regain control of the situation in the fourth set, breaking to lead 3 games to 1, then win in 2h44 min. Rune saved two first balls of the match on his serve, at 5-2, but the Norwegian finished on the next game.

Perhaps Rune paid for his efforts in the previous round, when he narrowly escaped the trap set by Argentina's Francisco Cerundolo (23rd) in the fifth set super tie-break after four hours of matching. It was his first match won in five sets. For now, the Dane continues to peak in the quarterfinals of Grand Slams.

Earlier in the evening, Zverev, former world No. 2 now 27th, dismissed Argentina's Tomas Martin Etcheverry (49th) 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4. A year after his serious right ankle injury in the middle of the semi-final against Rafael Nadal on the Parisian clay, he is back at the same stage of the competition.

The other semi-final will offer the shock anticipated since the draw, between Novak Djokovic and the world No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz.

Alexander Zverev at Roland Garros on June 7, 2023, in Paris. © Pierre René-Worms / RFI


With AFP)

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