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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Wednesday June 7, 2023

Casper Ruud

Casper Ruud pushed past Holger Rune in four sets to book his spot in the Roland-Garros final for the second straight year.

Photo Source: Getty

Holger Rune sleepwalked through the opening two sets on Wednesday in Paris, digging a deep hole against his fellow Scandinavian Casper Ruud before finally showing signs of life in the third.

Tennis Express

Ultimately the 20-year-old’s early missteps were too big, and Ruud capitalized on his chances, making the Dane pay as he rolled to a 6-1, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 victory to set a semifinal clash with Germany’s Alexander Zverev.

Ruud, a finalist last year at Roland-Garros, earns his first career Top-10 win at a Grand Slam (1-6) as he improves to 18-5 lifetime on the Parisian clay.

The Oslo native improves to 5-1 against his rival, and sends him packing at the quarterfinal stage in Paris for the second consecutive year. Last year the Norwegian notched a 6-1, 4-6, 7-6(2), 6-3 victory whose tension spilled over into the locker room and led to some incidental verbal volleys between the two.

That tension has been cleared of late, and the two part on much friendlier terms this year.

Rune, who defeated Ruud three weeks ago at Rome, pushed back in the third set behind a barrage of winners (16 in the set), but he didn’t have enough petrol in the tank to maintain his momentum in the fourth.

The Dane, who was taken to five sets by Francisco Cerundolo in the round of 16, lit up the stat sheet with 48 winners and 47 unforced errors, but he was broken five times and only managed one break of serve against Rune, who struck 32 winners against 29 unforced errors.

It was the 24-year-old World No. 4 who was in the driver’s seat from the onset. After Rune took the third set, the Norwegian saved a pair of break points in his opening service game of the fourth, then quickly jumped in front as he converted his third break point of the fourth game to lead 3-1.

Ruud didn’t face another break point the rest of the way.

Zverev leads Ruud in the pair’s all-time head to head, but Ruud took their last meeting – they have never met on clay.


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