Roland-Garros: Čilić through to semi-finals after five-set win over Rublev

Marin Čilić won against Andrey Rublev 5-7, 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (2) on Wednesday afternoon and will face either Norwegian Casper Ruud or the Dane Holger Rune in the semi-finals.

Marin Cilic Marin Cilic at Roland Garros 2022 (AI / Reuters / Panoramic)

Big-serving Croatian Marin Čilić, the No 20 seed, advanced to the last four of Roland-Garros by defeating the No 7 seed, Russian Andrey Rublev, 5-7, 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (2) in Paris on Wednesday. The match ended historically with the first fifth-set super tiebreaker in the history of Court Philippe-Chatrier. This is the 2014 US Open Champion’s first career semi-final at Roland Garros.

Interestingly, Cilic has never lost a tiebreaker to the Russian Rublev. Earlier in the year, at the 2022 Australian Open, Cilic beat Rublev 7-5, 7-6 (3), 3-6, 6-3. Čilić will face either Norwegian Casper Ruud, the No 8 seed, or Danish teenager Holger Rune in Friday’s upcoming semi-final.

Marin Cilic Roland-Garros 2022
Croatia’s Marin Cilic in action during his second round match against Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics (AI/Reuters/Panoramic)

“It was a very mentally and physically difficult match, and I would say high quality from both of us, Cilic said. Andrey played also a great level. I think, like, he’s one of the most consistent guys on the tour, you know, hitting big and serving big. I had to play my big game. Luckily I was serving fantastic today.”

The 33-year-old Croatian, currently ranked world No 23, fired off 33 aces in his tight five-set victory, winning 73% of points on his first serve. “The way he was serving…, commented Rublev. He was serving really, really good, really strong. He won almost all the important points with his serve and was really, really tough to read or to return.”

Rublev still can’t make a major semi

Earlier in the tournament, Čilić advanced past Hungarian Attila Balazs 6-0, 6-1, 6-2, Hungarian Marton Fucsovics 4-6, 6-4, 6-2, 6-3, Frenchman wildcard Gilles Simon 6-0, 6-3, 6-2. In the quarter-final round, Čilić upset Russian Daniil Medvedev, the second seed and former world No 1, 6-2, 6-3, 6-2.

In his run to the quarter-finals, Rublev beat Soon Woo Kwon 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-2, 6-4, Argentinian Federico Delbonis 6-3, 3-6, 6-2, 6-3, Chilean Cristian Garin 6-4, 3-6, 6-2, 7-6 (11), and Italian Jannik Sinner, the No 11 seed 1-6, 6-4, 2-0 ab. in the previous rounds of Roland-Garros.

The Russian, currently ranked world No 7, is unable to play Wimbledon later this month due to the tournament’s recent ban of Russian and Belarussian competitors. Although he has made the quarter-final round at the Australian Open, French Open, and US Open previously, Rublev has yet to advance past the quarter-final round at a Grand Slam.

Other quarter-finals results:

  • Rafael Nadal (5) beat Novak Djokovic (1): 6-2, 4-6, 6-2, 7-6 [4]
  • Alexander Zverev (3) beat Carlos Alcaraz (6): 6-4, 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 [7]

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