Marin Cilic beats Andrey Rublev, reaches maiden Roland Garros semi-finals
Croatia's Marin Cilic has qualified for his maiden semi-finals at the French Open after beating Russia's Andrey Rublev. The former won the five-set thriller 5-7, 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(2) after over four hours. Cilic, who won the US Open in 2014, has reached his sixth semi-final at Grand Slams. He would face either Casper Ruud or Holger Rune in the penultimate clash.
Cilic won a total of 175 points and 88 winners in the match. The match saw over 45 aces between Cilic and Rublev. Cilic smashed 23, while Rublev dished out 15. The latter won 34% (63/186) of the receiving points and 29% (2/7) of break points. Both players recorded two double faults each, while Cilic tallied 71 unforced errors.
As per Opta, Cilic has become the fourth Croatian man to reach the semi-finals at Roland Garros in the Open Era after Ivan Ljubicic in 2006, Nikola Pilic in 1973, and Zeljko Franulovic in 1971 and 1970 (Pilic and Franulovic featured for Yugoslavia).
Earlier, Cilic knocked world number two Daniil Medvedev out of the 2022 French Open. The former claimed a 6-2, 6-3, 6-2 win over Medvedev after an hour and 45 minutes on Court Philippe-Chatrier. Cilic claimed his biggest win (by Ranking) in over four years. The Croatian reached the quarter-final of a Grand Slam for the first time since 2018.
As per ATP, Cilic entered the 2022 French Open with a 4-4 win-loss record in the European clay-court season. However, the Croatian has been on a roll so far. Besides Medvedev, the 33-year-old has defeated Attila Balazs, Marton Fucsovics, Gilles Simon, and Rublev en route to the last four. He will face either Casper Ruud or Holger Rune for a place in the final.
Both Cilic and Rublev were vying to reach their first semi-final at Roland Garros. After facing a defeat, Rublev is yet to reach the penultimate stage at a major. Meanwhile, Cilic has qualified for the last four (majors) for the first time since the 2018 Australian Open. Notably, Rublev still has a 4-3 lead over Cilic in the head-to-head series.