Casper Ruud French Open 2022

‘I had a lot of nerves’ – Casper Ruud battles past Holger Rune to reach first French Open semi

Norway’s Casper Ruud has reached his first ever Grand Slam semi-final after beating teenager Holger Rune in a four set battle winning 6-1, 4-6, 7-6(2), 6-3. 

Ruud, widely regarded as a clay-court specialist, was put to the test by an impressive Rune, but it was the Norwegian who came out on top in four sets to book his place in the final four.

The 23-year-old will face Marin Cilic in the semis as he looks to win his first Grand Slam title. Ruud demonstrated in the first set why he was won a Tour-leading 64 (now 65) clay-court matches since 2020 as he cruised ahead by a set and a break.

However, Rune, who dumped Stefanos Tsitsipas out of the tournament in the last round, rallied. He broke Ruud twice in quick succession to level the match.

A similar pattern repeated itself in the third as Casper Ruud again went ahead by a mid-set break in the third, but for the second straight set saw his advantage erased in the very next game.

In the crucial tie-break, the man from Oslo made his experience show as Ruud controlled the tie-break with some impressive shot making and powerful ground strokes.

The eighth seed continued to pressure Rune in the fourth and made his breakthrough in the eighth game. From there Ruud was able to hold his nerve and comfortably serve out for the victory.

Reflecting on his first Roland Garros quarter-final, Casper Ruud admitted he was very nervous before the match and praised his Danish opponent for an impressive performance.

“I had a lot of nerves all day,” Ruud said. “When you’re waiting all day to get going. It’s tough to find calm and peace during the day, but I was able to sleep a little bit after breakfast and wanted to delay the day a little bit.

“I came here around 3pm-4pm, I did all the preparations. I started great but then Holger fought back well, raised his level and I had a really tough match in the end there.

“He has improved a lot. I’ve played him four times already in my career. I’m probably the player who has played him most on tour so I know a little bit how he plays but he has become much more dangerous, more unpredictable.

“He plays fearless, plays a lot of big shots and makes a lot of them so he makes it challenging for you and he’s going to be a dangerous player for many years.”

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