- Marin Cilic is a rare former Grand Slam champion in the second week of the French Open
- No. 8 seed Casper Ruud is past the third round of a major for only the second time ever
- Ruud is the favorite over Cilic for a spot in the French Open final (Friday, not before 11:30 am ET)
At 33, Marin Cilic isn’t likely to have too many more opportunities to reach a Grand Slam final. And so, if he can conquer his nerves, and despite his 0-2 career record versus Casper Ruud, you have to at least give him a chance in this Ruud vs Cilic French Open semifinal.
Ruud vs Cilic Odds
| Casper Ruud (NOR)||-4.5 (-105)||-230||O 38.5 (-110)|
| Marin Cilic (CRO)||+4.5 (-125)||+175||U 38.5 (-120)|
Odds as of June 2 at Caesars Sportsbook
Rafael Nadal meets Alexander Zverev in the other men’s singles semifinal.
Only once – until this fortnight – has Casper Ruud gone beyond the third round at any Grand Slam tournament. It was at the 2021 Australian Open where, after a sweet draw, he made the fourth round before retiring against Andrey Rublev.
He has so little experience at this level. And yet, his seeming genetic calm makes him look as though he’s done it all before. That’s likely not how it feels on the inside, though.
— Eurosport Tennis (@ESN_tennis) June 2, 2022
Ruud, 23, survived a test from his fellow Scandinavian Holger Rune in the quarterfinals Wednesday. Rune, just turned 19, is a confident, ambitious fellow and, truth be told, he is the opposite of calm. The Dane’s age showed in that late-night 6-1, 4-6, 7-6 (2), 6-3 loss. There was a lot of drama and acting up.
It got testy at times. And Rune told some good stories afterwards. And Ruud’s calm way of setting the record straight was pretty precocious for 23.
After that, playing the congenial, mature, professional Cilic will be a nice change of pace.
Ruud vs Cilic Head-to-Head
|23 (Dec. 22, 1998)||Age||33 (Sept. 28, 1988)|
|Oslo, Norway||Birthplace||Medjugorje, BIH|
|8||Career ATP Singles Titles||20|
|No. 4 (April 4, 2022)||Career High Ranking||No. 3 (Jan. 29, 2018)|
|No. 8||Current Ranking||No. 23|
|$6,419,239||Career Prize Money||$29,829,383|
|29-9||2022 Won/Loss record||18-11|
|2||Career Head to Head||0|
A Decade’s Difference of Age and Experience
As for Cilic, he came up against a tough customer in Andrey Rublev of Russia.
He got through the victory in four hours, 10 minutes (played earlier on Wednesday, before Rune vs Ruud) in a fifth-set match tiebreak.
Rublev admitted the pressure of being late in a major got to him, again. Cilic had to hold his own nerve.
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And he did – just barely. It was a popular victory on all fronts. Cilic’s big serve and powerful groundstrokes have gotten him to the final four at a major for the first time since he reached the Australian Open final in 2018. Cilic reached the finals the previous year at Wimbledon as well; both times, he lost to Roger Federer.
But there’s been a dip lately; this is definitely a late-career renaissance.
It also completes the “final four” Grand Slam for Cilic; the French Open was the only major in which he had not reached the semifinals.
Ruud vs Cilic Match History
|2021||Masters Canada (R32)||Outdoor Hard||6-3, 3-6, 6-3||Ruud|
|2020||Rome Masters (R16)||Outdoor Clay||6-2, 7-6 (6)||Ruud|
Matchup Favors Underdog Cilic
Why is Ruud the favorite to win this?
Well, he’s the higher-ranked player. He’s 2-0 against Cilic even if only one of those tournaments was on clay, and they didn’t come when Cilic was playing as well as he is at the moment.
Cilic, a decade older, has the experience of getting to Grand Slam finals whereas for Ruud, this is a maiden experience. There is a whole lot that goes into that; the more times you get into that position, the more you learn to handle it.
He serves harder than Ruud. he hits the ball harder. He could quite possibly blow him off the court at times.
It would be a popular throwback win, and Cilic has beaten Nadal a couple of times although they’ve played just once on clay. And they haven’t played each other at all in nearly three years. He’s 1-7 vs Alexander Zverev, the other semifinalist.
Experience may well win out in this one. Take the upset (Cilic at +175 to win, +625 to win in four sets) if you’re feeling brave.
Best Bet: A four-set match (+160)
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