Marin Cilic and Casper Ruud won their respective quarterfinals at the French Open to complete the semi-final line-up of the tournament.
Cilic, up first, defeated Russian seventh seed Andrey Rublev 5-7 6-3 6-4 3-6 7-6 (10-2) in a super tie-break to reach his first semifinal on Paris’ clay.
The Croatian faced stiff resistance from Rublev but was on fire with his service game as his 33 aces made the difference.
Already impressive in a straight-sets win against Daniil Medvedev in the quarter-finals, Cilic again relied on his serve and huge forehand to make up for 71 unforced errors.
Rublev played with accuracy in the first set, which he won with a break of serve in the 11th game before Cilic picked himself up in the second set to break for 2-0 and held throughout before leveling the match with an ace.
Rublev struggling to read the Croatian’s serve was broken for 4-3 in the third set.
Facing elimination, Rublev found some new energy in the fourth, playing more aggressively and with more power to break for 5-3 and hold to send the match into a decider.
The match went into a super tiebreak, in which Cilic prevailed on the second match point when Rublev buried a backhand into the net.
Rublev has now failed to win any of his five quarter-finals at a major while Cilic has managed to reach the semifinal of every major joining the “big 4” of Andy Murray, Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, and Rafael Nadal.
He will next face Casper Ruud who became the first Norwegian to reach the semifinals of a grand slam.
The Eighth battled past Denmark’s teenager Holger Rune 6-1 4-6 7-6(2) 6-3.