French Open updates | Ruud tops Cilic; into 1st Slam final
PARIS (AP) — The Latest on the French Open Grand Slam tennis tournament (all times local):
Casper Ruud has become the first Norwegian man to reach a Grand Slam singles final by eliminating 2014 U.S. Open champion Marin Cilic 3-6, 6-4, 6-2, 6-2 at Roland Garros.
The eighth-seeded Ruud is 23 and never had been past the fourth round at any major tournament until now.
His father, Christian, was a professional tennis player from 1991 to 2001.
Ruud has shown that he can play well on clay, with tour highs of seven titles and 66 match wins on the surface since the start of 2020.
He now faces the toughest test there ever has been on clay, going up against 13-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal in the final on Sunday. Ruud has trained at Nadal’s tennis academy in Spain and refers to the 36-year-old Spaniard as his idol.
Ruud returned Cilic’s big serve well enough to break him five times and even hit more aces, 16-10. Cilic had 33 aces in the quarterfinals Wednesday.
The semifinal was interrupted for more than 10 minutes in the third set by a climate activist who attached herself to the net and knelt on the court.
A climate activist wearing a T-shirt with the message “We have 1028 days left” interrupted the French Open men’s semifinal between Marin Cilic and Casper Ruud by attaching herself to the net and kneeling on the court.
Play was delayed for more than 10 minutes during a game with Ruud serving in the third set while leading 3-6, 6-4, 4-1, 15-all.
Tournament director Amelie Mauresmo looked on from near the entrance to the court and both players left while the protester was carried away by four security guards.
Eventually, Ruud and Cilic returned and were given three minutes to warmup before resuming their semifinal.
The winner of the match will face 13-time Roland Garros champion Rafael Nadal in Sunday’s final.
There have been other episodes involving people interrupting matches at Court Philippe Chatrier over the years.
During the 2013 men’s final, a topless man carrying a fiery flare jumped onto the court. In the 2009 final, a man went up to Roger Federer and tried to put a hat on his head. In the 2003 final, a male streaker hurdled the net.
Americans Coco Gauff and Jessica Pegula will go up against France’s Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic in the women’s doubles final at Roland Garros.
Garcia and Mladenovic won the 2016 title together in Paris and returned to the final by eliminating Ukraine’s Lyudmyla Kichenok and Latvia’s Jelena Ostapenko 2-6, 6-4, 6-2 in a match interrupted by a rain delay.
Gauff and Pegula are participating in their first Grand Slam tournament as a team.
Gauff also will play in the singles final against top-ranked Iga Swiatek.
Rafael Nadal has advanced to the French Open final after Alexander Zverev fell during a point, injured his right ankle and stopped playing.
A little more than 3 hours into the match, Zverev was running to his right to chase a ball when he tumbled. His black outfit was covered in rust-colored clay and he immediately grabbed his lower right leg, screaming in pain.
A trainer came out to attend to him, and Nadal walked around the net to check on Zverev, too. Zverev was taken off the court in a wheelchair.
Several minutes later, he came back out using crutches and said he needed to retire from the match.
Nadal won the first set 7-6 (8). The second set was also headed to a tiebreaker when Zverev went down.
The retractable roof over Court Philippe Chatrier is closed for the men’s semifinal between Rafael Nadal and Alexander Zverev.
Play has started in the match.
Nadal is a 13-time champion at the French Open and owns 21 Grand Slam titles in all.
Zverev is seeking his first major championship.
Coco Gauff now has a chance to leave Roland Garros with two trophies.
The 18-year-old Gauff and Jessica Pegula advanced to the women’s doubles final at the French Open by beating Madison Keys and Taylor Townsend 6-4, 7-6 (4) in an all-American semifinal Friday.
Gauff meets top-ranked Iga Swiatek on Saturday for the singles championship.
Gauff, who is from Florida, and Pegula, a 26-year-old from New York who lost to Swiatek in the singles quarterfinals, are appearing in their first Grand Slam tournament as a team.
Gauff and Caty McNally were the runners-up in women’s doubles at last year’s U.S. Open.
Barbora Krejcikova won the singles and doubles titles at the 2021 French Open, the first time a woman claimed both in the same year at Roland Garros since Mary Pierce in 2000.
Rafael Nadal will spend his 36th birthday facing No. 3 seed Alexander Zverev in the first French Open men’s semifinal on Court Philippe Chatrier.
The match is scheduled to begin at about 2:45 p.m. (8:45 a.m. ET) on Friday.
No. 20 Marin Cilic will play No. 8 Casper Ruud in the second semifinal.
There is rain forecast, so it is a good thing the stadium has a retractable roof.
Nadal showed up at Roland Garros with his personal doctor because of chronic pain in his left foot.
Nadal is seeking a 14th French Open trophy and 22nd Grand Slam title overall. Both of those numbers would add to records he already holds.
Zverev and Ruud have never won a major tournament. Cilic was the champion at the 2014 U.S. Open
The men’s singles final is Sunday.
No. 1-ranked Iga Swiatek faces 18-year-old American Coco Gauff in the women’s singles final Saturday.
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