Holger Rune’s impressive run at Roland Garros ended this Wednesday night. Logically beaten in four sets by Norwegian Casper Ruud in the quarterfinals (6-1, 4-6, 7-6 , 6-3), the 19-year-old Dane, who fell to Stefanos Tsitsipas in the round of 16, gave up after 3:15 of play. Ruud, the 8th player in the world, joins Croatian Marin Cilic in the last square.
The Norwegian is the most discreet member of the top 10. And even at this Roland Garros, his name was mostly associated with that of his first-round opponent, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, of whom he was the baroud of honor. In fact, it was only if he had agreed to the post-match interview, on the Chatrier, so as not to interfere in the tribute ceremony of the first retiree of the four Musketeers. Normal to be a little transparent when you call yourself Casper, you tell us. But whatever: without making a fuss, here is Ruud qualified for his first Grand Slam semifinal at the age of 23.
And it is finally not so illogical, for a player in constant progress and who is now ranked 5th in the Race behind Nadal, Alcaraz, Tsitsipas and Zverev. Winner of the Geneva tournament just before reaching Porte d’Auteuil, he is nine wins away and his last setback goes back to the semi-final in Rome, lost to world No. 1 Novak Djokovic. “It’s a machine, it brings everything back”explained Cédric Pioline when asked about the player he would hate to play against.
A final against his idol Nadal?
To reach the last square, the son of Christian Ruud, 39th in the world in 1995, benefited from a rather steep course, compared to the top of the table. After Tsonga, he dominated the Finn Ruusuvuori (61st), gallant against the Italian Lorenzo Sonego (35th, leading 2 innings to 1), was solid against a Hubert Hurkacz (13th) not especially known for his appetite for land and take advantage of the Tsitsipas scarecrow’s exit from Rune.
Against the 19-year-old Dane, against whom he led 3-0 in their previous confrontations, he first rode alone (1 set and 1 break) before releasing his embrace against the butt of the stormy young man in the cap upside down. Mais made an extremely solid tie-break in the third inning and ended the second ball of the match in the third opportunity. This Nadal fan is a match to play a potential Roland-Garros final against his idol.