Casper Ruud is through to his first-ever grand slam final after overcoming Marin Cilic in the French Open semi-final to set a date with 13-time champion Rafael Nadal.
The Eighth seed rallied from a set down to beat an error-prone Cilic 3-6 6-4 6-2 6-2.
Ruud came into the contest with a 2-0 head-to-head lead over former world number three Cilic and a prolific record on clay courts.
The Norwegian, since 2020, had won a tour-leading 65 matches and seven titles on the surface before going into his match with Cilic.
But it was the battle-hardened Croat who drew first blood, breaking Ruud twice in the opening set to take the lead.
Cilic seeded 20th, used his big-hitting prowess to pepper the court with winners from his powerful forehand, and saved all three break points he faced on his own delivery.
But the Norweigian soon found his footing by changing his strategy.
Ruud started absorbing Cilic’s power by playing stout defense, lengthening the rallies against a man 10 years older than him.
It all paid off in the third game of the second set, as Cilic made an array of unforced errors allowing Casper Ruud to go up a break.
With Ruud serving for the set, Cilic had multiple chances to level the contest but the Norwegian fought back from 0-40 down to clinch the set with a backhand down the line.
Cilic’s frustration grew as his unforced errors soared as Ruud jumped to a 4-0 lead in the third set.
The match was then interrupted for over 15 minutes during the third set when a protestor jumped onto the court and attached herself to the net.
Ruud lost the next two points on the resumption but recovered to save two break points to hold serve for a 5-1 lead before serving out for the set on his next opportunity.
Another double break early in the fourth set the writing on the wall as Ruud sealed the contest under three hours with a thundering ace.
Ruud will now look to prevent Nadal from winning the French Open for a record-extending 14th time on Sunday.
Nadal progressed to his 30th grand slam final after his opponent Alexander Zverev retired with an ankle injury mid-match.
With the win, Casper Ruud will at least rise to a career-high world ranking of sixth when the list is updated at the conclusion of the claycourt Grand Slam at Roland Garros.