- The first all-Scandinavian Grand Slam quarterfinal will take place Wednesday (3pm ET)
- Casper Ruud, the No. 8 seed, is favored over unseeded 19-year-old Holger Rune in their French Open clash
- Read on as we break down the matchup, and make some predictions
This French Open quarterfinal was supposed to be No. 4 Stefanos Tsitsipas vs No. 8 Casper Ruud, according to the seeds.
In the end, Holger Rune of Denmark took advantage of an astonishingly flat Tsitsipas, beating him in four sets to post the biggest victory of his career.
So he will be the one to face Ruud, who is from Norway.
Ruud vs Rune Odds
| Casper Ruud (NOR)||-4.5 (-107)||-215||O 37.5 (-117)|
|Holger Rune (DEN)||+4.5 (-113)||+175||U 37.5 (-105)|
Odds as of May 31 at Barstool Sportsbook
Rune, who turned 19 just a few weeks ago, was ranked No. 313 during this very week a year ago. He was so far down the list that he wasn’t even close to getting into the French Open qualifying, let alone the main draw.
He spent these two weeks getting to the final of a Challenger tournament in Portugal, and then winning one in Italy.
Rune broke into the top 100 at the beginning of 2022.
Even if he loses to Ruud on Wednesday, he’ll be inside the top 30. If he manages to defeat him, he’ll be inches away from the top 20.
That’s quite a rise.
Ruud vs Rune Head-to-Head
|23 (Dec. 22, 1998)||Age||19 (April 29, 2003)|
|Oslo, Norway||Birthplace||Gentofte, Denmark|
|8||Career ATP Singles Titles||1|
|No. 4 (April 4, 2022)||Career High Ranking||No. 40 (May 16, 2022)|
|No. 8||Current Ranking||No. 40|
|$6,419,239||Career Prize Money||$717,666|
|28-9||2022 Won/Loss record||16-10|
|3||Career Head to Head||0|
Ruud’s Clay Rise Continues
If Rune’s rise was predominantly based on good results on the red clay, that’s also true of Ruud, who is 4.5 years older and has been inside the top 10 every week since the end of the 2021 US Open.
His career winning percentage on clay is close to 75%; on hard courts, it sits at just over 50%.
The last three years, his first three directly into the French Open main draw, Ruud has reached the third round. So this is by far his greatest result. And with this part of the season so crucial to his ranking, he can see ahead; when you run into an unseeded player in the quarterfinals of a major, you need to maximize that opportunity.
On top of that, Ruud is 3-0 against Rune; all three matches took place in the last 13 months. All were on clay. And Ruud hasn’t yet dropped a set to the Dane even though their match in Monte Carlo in April was by far the most tightly contested.
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Ruud vs Rune Match History
|2022||Monte Carlo (R32)||Outdoor Clay||7-6 (5), 7-5||Ruud|
|2021||Bastad (R16)||Outdoor Clay||6-0, 6-2||Ruud|
|2021||Monte Carlo (R64)||Outdoor Clay||6-2, 6-1||Ruud|
Will Rune’s Youthful Energy Turn the Tide?
Rune shocked No. 14 seed Denis Shapovalov in the first round, beating him in straight sets.
And in the Round of 16 on Monday, he handled a rather moribund Tsitsipas – a player who made the French Open final a year ago. Given Tsitsipas was in the (relatively) weaker bottom of the draw, he was under pretty major pressure to repeat.
If it was the weight of that pressure that led to Tsitsipas’s strangely detached performance, we’ll never know. But Rune won fair and square. And he didn’t get to the final eight taking advantage of seed upsets by other players; he beat them himself.
Ruud (can you see how this match will be a nightmare for the television commentators?) seems so unflappable out there, there isn’t much the younger Dane will be able to do to distract him.
On his side, Rune runs into one of the better clay-courters around not named Nadal or Djokovic – one who will happily sprint for all the drop shots Rune is sure to drop on him.
And Ruud also will drop in a few of his own.
The winner will play either Marin Cilic or Andrey Rublev for a spot in the French Open final. Rune is too young to even realize that he’s not supposed to be here, which might help him.
Ruud has more of a sense of the magnitude of it. But this is his favorite surface, and it would be a surprise if he didn’t get it done.
Best Bet: Ruud in Four Sets (+325)
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