Casper Ruud overcomes protest distraction to conquer Marin Cilic at French Open

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Casper Ruud reached his first grand slam final at the French Open after his match with Marin Cilic was interrupted by a woman invading the court.

The semi-final was held up for 10 minutes after the woman walked on to the court and tied herself to the net.

The woman, believed to be a climate-change protester, wore a T-shirt bearing the slogan ‘we have 1,028 days left’.

APTOPX France Tennis French Open
The match was held up while a protester was removed (Christophe Ena/AP)

She strolled on to Court Philippe-Chatrier unchallenged during the third set and attached herself to the net, raising serious questions about security at Roland Garros.

Tournament director Amelie Mauresmo looked on as the players left the court while the woman was removed.

After a short warm-up the players resumed the match and eighth seed Ruud wrapped up a 3-6 6-4 6-2 6-2 victory and secured a meeting with 13-time champion Rafael Nadal in the final.

The 23-year-old told Eurosport: “I was a bit scared, honestly. I didn’t know what was going on. It’s never happened to me.

“We left the court and when we got back I was able to keep my focus. But it was a little bit challenging..”

Ruud, the first Norwegian man to reach a grand slam final, added: “It was a great match from my side. I didn’t start the greatest but Marin also played well in the first set.

“I was too defensive. I broke him in the second set and after that break I started to play some of my best tennis this year, serving well and playing aggressive.

“Marin is usually the one playing very fast, he was serving big playing well coming to the net so I figured I had to step up counter-attacks and go for some fast shots and it helped and worked out and I raised my level.

“I’ve been looking up to Rafa, the player I’m playing in the final.

“He never complains, he is the perfect example of how you should be on the court – never giving up and never complaining.”

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