- Casper Ruud – Holger Rune 6–1, 6–2, 3–6, 6-3
Rune had a great spring with two Masters finals and an ATP 500 win in Bavaria, but against the Norwegian opponents it really came to a halt at the year’s second Grand Slam tournament, Roland Garros.
– The lower level is very high. I have to play some of my best tennis when I play against him, Rune said of Ruud to NRK after the match.
World number four Casper Ruud embarked on a journey of revenge after his semi-final defeat in Rome – and took full control of the match at the mighty Philippe-Chartier.
– This is my biggest win of the year, Ruud said after the match.
On Friday, he will play in the semifinals against Alexander Zverev – and the launch of its Danish rival him as a favourite.
Because even after that crushing loss against the Norwegian, Rune was bragging about the 24-year-old Norwegian.
– Casper is the favorite in the semifinals. A year ago I would have said Zverev. He came back strong from injury. I think we’ll see Casper in the finals, but who knows,” Rune said of the semifinals after Ruud’s loss.
Ruud also believed the match could work in his favor if he was “physically prepared and strong”.
– I have managed to win both semifinals in the past. “I’ve learned mostly physically and mentally that it’s a long tournament with long matches and long journeys, where you have to do well,” Ruud told NRK.
– Now I’ve been here for two weeks and … you can get a little bored. You have to be mentally prepared for it. I feel that I have learned from that in the past. It’s great when things are going well, so you can ignore it a bit.
– Very bad start
Ruud had felt the nervousness in his body ahead of Scandinavia’s duel against Rune.
– You’re a little relieved. “I came here on Friday after Geneva and on Saturday for training then I had a real problem or a kink in the neck which shows you maybe a little bit nervous about what’s going to happen,” said Ruud.
Whether Rune felt the same nervousness is uncertain, but he was at least highly self-critical after the match.
– I started very badly. Against great players like him, he deserved to win. You can’t afford to do that. “It’s going to take too long,” said Rune at the post-match press conference.
– I tried everything to find a rhythm. “I recovered a bit in the third set, but it’s too late if you waste two sets like that,” said Rune.
– World class
Because the Dane fought and won the third set. Then he stepped up his game significantly.
– He let go a little more. I think he was maybe a little bit swayed by the fact it was a quarter-final, a big arena. He didn’t have the same experience as Casper, he said National team manager Fredrik Loven to NRK.
But after losing the third set, the experienced Ruud hit back in the fourth. Loven highlighted one thing in particular, Ruud’s strength in the decider.
– HAn continues to be aggressive, especially with his forehand. I think it’s consistent in his game that as soon as he dares to go forehand, he plays really well. Because when he does that, he has a world-class forehand, says Loven.
Ruud has the following to say about thoughts around the forehand:
– I’ve been training my whole life to lay this forehand, so go for it.
Lovén was sure there was nothing left to talk about when Ruud took the final set. It didn’t look like it at first either.
For the Dane, it started with a lack of precision in all phases of the game. He messed up his serve, alternating between hitting the ball at goal and over the white line. “Rune doesn’t look like himself at all,” said Politiken after the 20-year-old’s poor first set.
– It looks like Holger Rune is still in the locker room, commented Svein Espen Lindås Olsen from Eurosport.
– Ruud wreaks havoc with Runes, wrote Patrick McEnroe on Twitter. He is the brother of former major player John McEnroe.
The runes don’t come any closer to cracking the code in the second set. Ruud was dominating and almost did nothing wrong. It was won convincingly 6–2.
– Luckily for me, he didn’t feel it in the first two sets. He made a lot of mistakes and I got a lot of free points. It helped calm the nerves, Ruud told the organizers after the match.
But after a short rest, toilet break, and some nutrition, the 20-year-old athlete was suddenly back to his best. He broke Ruud at the first opportunity in the third set. Suddenly the game opened a little more.
– It’s very clear that Holger has found his energy now. Playing dream tennis so far in this third set, said Olsen at Eurosport.
Rune fought back and fought back in the match going 6–3 and being reduced to 1–2 in sets.
But in the fourth set, Ruud fought back and snatched victory after breaking early and retaking the next point on her own serve.
Alexander Zverev is now waiting in the semifinals. The German was ranked two in the world last year but is “only” number 27 at the moment after sustaining a major injury in Paris last year.
In the second semifinal, world number one Carlos Alcaraz and world number two Novak Djokovic met. Both matches will be played on Friday.
The battle between the Norwegians and the Danes was the main attraction Wednesday at the mighty Philippe-Chatrier facility in Paris. That’s not a given when players come from minor tennis nations, but there’s no way around it after last year’s thriller. Because it’s still a fight that’s being talked about.
Then there was the rain episode on the pitch. Rune asked his mother to leave the pulpit. Sindige Ruud takes care of Dane’s behavior after that and tells him to grow up. The next day, Christian Ruud’s father had to refute claims from Rune’s mother that they cheered in front of their son.
By now the temperature should be dropping, though they still aren’t sending Christmas cards to each other.
The tournament concludes with a final on Sunday.
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