Roland-Garros: Notebook 11 – Marin Cilic in the story, Ruud life, magic handshake, Gauff splits and for Iga let’s say 33!

After trying the last four in Melbourne, Wimbledon and New York, Marin Cilic will finally be able to discover that of Paris after his victory over Andrey Rublev. The Croatian who will face off against Casper Ruud joins the history of gaming giants. In the women’s category, Daria Kasatkina and Iga Swiatek continue to impress, Cori Gauff wins in all places.

CILIC COMPLETES ITS HUNTING TABLE… It took him more than 4 hours to get rid of Andrey Rublev (5-7 6-3 6-4 3-6 7-6), but no matter how, the main thing is that Marin Cilic has managed to get the job done. The Croatian, who has featured at least once in the last four of the three other Grand Slam tournaments, had never joined the Paris event. We have to acknowledge that he has earned his place at this stage. Flawless on Monday against Daniil Medvedev, the 2014 US Open winner certainly struggled more yesterday, but in the end it makes sense to catch him at the rendezvous on Friday, because against Rublev the giant of Medugorge gave everything: mistakes such as winning shots ( 88!). He made the mistake of keeping his opponent in the match in the 4th set and missed many chances with an unconvincing forward play, but his mastery of the super tiebreak was nothing short of remarkable. So much so that within 10 minutes we thought we were seeing the Cilic of a historic New York 8 years ago.

CROATIAN HISTORY… With his place in the last four, Marin Cilic (34 years old in September) has joined a caste of giants: the caste of (rare) still active players who have played at least one semi-final in the 4 major tournaments. Next to him are Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray. Hard to beat…

RUUD WROTE HIS AND NORWAY… While Marin Cilic writes history, Casper Ruud writes his own and his country’s. By discarding the brave Holger Rune (6-1 4-6 7-6 6-3)the man from Oslo is the first Norwegian to reach the semi-finals of a Grand Slam tournament. It’s strong! Casper was never spooky against the Dane, but he sometimes got lost, especially in the second set when he had a break lead, and then let that set slip away. His tie-break in the 3rd round, on the other hand, went smoothly. With experience (although he’s only 22), Ruud was able to break down the door that leads to Marin Cilic. For Rune this is probably just the continuation of the training. Tennis lovers haven’t seen the end of it yet. But we’re just not going to thank him for that magical handshake that Radek Stepanek wouldn’t have denied.

FACING HIS IDOL SOON? 13 days ago we had Casper Ruud in front of us in the Geneva Open press tent. The Norwegian was flushed after winning an epic final lasting more than 3 hours against Joao Sousa. He had already expressed his desire to shine at Roland-Garros. If we knew he was capable of doing anything about it, we honestly didn’t see him until the last four. Not only because his tennis lacks vigor and life, but also because it seems “cooked”. Except that whoever brings back almost all the balls has a real shot to play if they take advantage of a clear table and their delivery qualities. With a final in sight against his lifelong idol Rafael Nadal?

A NICE ADVERTISEMENT… The Geneva Open promote themselves without being in Paris. And with good reason, 3 of the 4 male semi-finalists have shone on his clay court in recent years. Double title holder is Casper Ruud. Alexander Zverev had won the 2019 edition and Marin Cilic was a 2016 finalist. Only Rafael Nadal has never passed Eaux-Vives. But the Spanish monster has always had other fish to fry…

SWIATEK, SAY 33! After turning 21, everything is going well for Iga Swiatek. After her first set in the round of 16 against Zheng, the Pole has actually found her true cruising speed Choking Jessica Pegula despite all the American’s defensive efforts (6-3 6-2), a true display of accuracy. Just flawless against an opponent who was too limited, the No. 1 in the WTA signed her 33rd success in a row. One day it will inevitably stop. But I’m not sure if it will be in those fortnight…

KASATKINA IS COMING AT GREAT SPEED… Daria Kasatkina obviously sees it differently and would be happy to stop Swiatek this Thursday in her winning streak and on the way that could lead the Pole to a 2nd title in Roland-Garros. The Russian is right about that because everything she has produced in almost 2 weeks is perfect. Consider that after passing the first 4 rounds without dropping a set, she continued in the same vein ahead of her compatriot Veronika Kudermetova. Of course, seed #29 gave life to Togliatti’s daughter a bit. but this one still came out in 2 sets (6-4 7-6). Own! Kasatkina, now 25, has already signed her best Grand Slam result. But only the title interests him from now on.

DARIA IN FRONT OF THE MOUNTAIN… Therefore, in order to go to the end, Daria Kasatkina must stop the Warsaw tornado. Not easy! “It is indeed a mountain rising before merecognized the Russian after her quarterfinals. I will have to climb it. In conclusion, maybe it’s better for me not to have too much time to think about my win against Kudermetova because another fight awaits me soon.

GAUFF AND THE MEMORIES OF 2020… As we reminded you yesterday, the other two semi-finalists, Coco Gauff and Martina Trevisan, faced each other at Roland-Garros in 2020. Their only meeting then went in favor of the Italian, who left a bitter taste in the American. who mentioned it at a press conference: “I remember this game very well. I think I had about ten double faults lined up. I’m already hoping to avoid it on Thursday… More seriously, Martina is a very complicated player on clay, a beautiful left-hander. We both play offensive tennis and I think it will be a fun game to watch..” It should be noted that Coco Gauff is all over Paris as she qualified last night for the semifinals of the doubles she is playing in the company of… Jessica Pegula. The American duo will face compatriots on Friday in Half: Taylor Townsend and Madison Keys.

TREVISAN ON ITS CLOUD… Meanwhile, Gauff’s singles opponent Martina Trevisan is on cloud nine with her 10 consecutive successes between Rabat and Paris. Although aware that the earlier semi-final will have nothing to do with her second half of the season 20 months ago, the Florentine is not worried. She’s enjoying the present moment: “I’m playing the best tennis of my life and I want to enjoy it. But I know it can be better. The most important thing is that I feel comfortable on the pitch. I just do what I love. Past is past. I look forward to discovering what the future holds for me.” Well said.

IMAGE OF THE DAY… That of Andrey Rublev, sometimes quite passive against Marin Cilic, who can blame himself for not trying more to overtake the Croatian, who was not exceptional yesterday.

SET OF THE DAY: Asked by Eurosport for the strangest French word he’s heard, Casper Ruud revealed that the phrase ‘la chatte’, often repeated by French speakers in the face of a lucky opponent (definition: Didier Deschamps), is the plot. “I often hear players yell that word. I don’t know what that means, but it’s probably not very pretty. Seems pretty strange to me…

FOR FELDBAUSCH IS OVER! Geneva’s Kilian Feldbausch does not progress in the junior tournament. Semifinalist in Melbourne in January, he stopped in the round of 16 in Paris, beaten by Mexico’s Rodrigo Pacheco Mendez (7-5 ​​​​4-6 0-6). Dylan Dietrich, on the other hand, is in the quarterfinals. The Zurich native, who beat Lithuanian Elias Butvilas (7-6, 3-6, 6-4), meets Belgian Gilles Arnaud Bailly. case follows!

THIEM IN BLACK… On the outskirts of Roland-Garros, we learned that Dominic Thiem, who was due to compete in the Perugia Challenger next week, will ultimately not make the trip to Italy. The Austrian, winner of the 2020 US Open and in poor shape for 18 months, says he needs to rest again. As a reminder, he hasn’t won a single match since his return in late February. One can rightly ask oneself whether he will one day really be able to pick up the thread of his career again.

Arnaud Cerutti – @arnaud_cerutti

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