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French Open: Croatian Marin Cilic becomes the 5th active player to reach the semi-finals of all Grand Slam tournaments

Croatian Marin Cilic says he is extremely proud to have become the only fifth active player to reach the semi-finals of all four Grand Slam tournaments after defeating Russian Andrey Rublev in the quarter-finals at Roland Garros in a five-set thriller .

Cilic, who reached his first semi-final at Roland Garros on Wednesday, joined the esteemed group that includes Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Andy Murray dug deep to seal a 5-7, 6-3, 6-4 , 3-6, 7-6 (10-2) victory and reach the last four of the Grand Slam on clay. “A fantastic achievement for me, and to be, they mentioned being, just among them (Nadal, Federer, Djokovic, Murray), one of the only active guys with at least one semi-final at every Grand Slam “, did he declare.

Cilic attributed his success to his recent success on clay. “I would say over the last few years, coming back from 2017, I started to feel good on clay and then I had some great successes, but in the end it’s also such a short season for clay, it’s hard time every season. But I feel good on the court, I’m having fun, I’m myself, I play my own game and it pays off, and I just enjoy the racing. And I obviously knew that with my kind of at the level of my tennis over the last few years that I’ve been playing, if I find good form, good things always happen. So yeah, I’m extremely proud of that and really happy,” Cilic said in the post-match press conference.

Cilic’s thrilling victory lifts him to 17th in the ATP Live rankings, six places higher than where he started the tournament. The Croatian, a former world No. 3, was last ranked in the Top 20 in August 2019.

Although Cilic saw a match point opportunity slip away when Rublev served at 4-5, 30/40 in the fifth set, the 20th seed regained his composure to claim the final set tie-break 10/2 in spectacular style as he moved forward. in court to hit a scorching winners streak, said a report on the ATP Tour website.

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“It comes from being me,” Cilic said when asked about his aggressive approach to the tie-break during his on-court interview. “I played that kind of tennis the whole match, and especially the fifth set was an incredible battle. Andrey played incredibly well, and it was an incredible performance of fair play on the court.

“A lot of heart, and it took one. Today was my day, but Andrey also played an amazing game.”

Despite giving up a tight first set against one of the biggest ball hitters on the ATP Tour, it was Cilic whose punching power worked well as he maneuvered Rublev around the Philippe Chatrier court with plenty of punch. ‘effect. The Croatian fired 88 winners including 33 aces on his way to a four hour and 10 minute victory, according to the report.

“Andrey is playing a tough game,” Cilic said. “Serve big, hit big. You don’t get a lot of chances and you have to follow your level and I did that. Unfortunately I lost that fourth set. I felt like maybe I was on the point of getting the break, but Andrey played really well and when you play that long there will always be a little up and down in the game.”

The win confirms Cilic’s stunning quarter-final win over world No. 2 Daniil Medvedev. In the semis, the Croatian now meets Casper Ruud, who held off a spirited challenge from Dane Holger Rune on Wednesday night at Roland Garros, extending his best Grand Slam run to the semis. The 23-year-old Norwegian cruised to a 6-1, 4-6, 7-6(2), 6-3 victory in Roland Garros’ first all-Scandinavian quarter-final – and the first major quarter-final for both men.

“These are the games you dream of playing and of course I hope even for the final if it’s possible,” Ruud said in an on-court interview, before looking ahead to his Friday semi-final against Marin Cilic. “I have to be really focused and get my ‘A’ in the semis because Marin has been playing really well all week and it’s going to be another tough game.”

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Post expires at 7:50pm on Sunday June 12th, 2022