Casper Ruud beats Marin Cilic to set up Roland Garros final clash with 'idol' Rafael Nadal

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Casper Ruud moved into his first Grand Slam final, setting up a match with his "idol" Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros. The Norwegian beat former US Open champion Marin Cilic 3-6, 6-4, 6-2, 6-2 in the semi-final as he continued to establish himself as one of the premier clay-courters in the men's game. Ruud was a student at the Rafael Nadal academy in Mallorca earlier in his career, and he says the fact his maiden major final is against the Spaniard makes it extra special. "Looking up to Rafa, the player I'm going to play in the final, he never complains," he said. "He's a perfect example of how you should be on court, never give up, never complain. He's been my idol for all my life. "It's amazing, he's the last player of the big three of the top players in the world I have never played against. This is perfect timing and worth the wait.

"To play him in the Grand Slam final will be a special moment for me, and hopefully for him - he's going to be playing a student from his academy. It's going to be a fun one."

Rafael Nadal after beating Novak Djokovic
Rafael Nadal after beating Novak Djokovic

Ruud dug deep against Cilic in his semi-final, and was able to overcome the blow of losing the first set to deservedly win the match. "It was a great match from my side," he said. "I didn't start the greatest. "I was too defensive and I was able to break him in the second set and that got me going, and then I played some of my best tennis. Super happy with the performance today. "I think Marin is usually the one playing very fast and very hard, and that was the feeling I got. "I figured I needed to step up and counterattack and go for some faster shots, and it worked. I changed a little bit but I also raised my level."

The article Casper Ruud beats Marin Cilic to set up Roland Garros final clash with 'idol' Rafael Nadal appeared first on Planetsport.com.

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