Casper Ruud: who is first Norwegian tennis player to reach a grand slam semi-final?

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French Open sensation Casper Ruud has become the first Norwegian to reach the semi-final of a Grand Slam, as he prepares to face Marin Cilic in the Roland-Garros.

The Norwegian 23-year-old has become the first from his country to reach the semi-final of a Grand Slam tournament, after beating the Danish youngster Holger Rune in the quarter finals.

Ruud has stormed through the French Open 2022 tournament on his way to facing Marin Cilic in tomorrow’s (Friday 3 June 2022) semi-final.

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The 23-year-old met France’s Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the first round and beat the former world number five 6-7 (6-8), 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 7-6 (7-0) before going on to face Emil Ruusuvuori, Lorenzo Sonago, the current world number 12 Hubert Hurkacz and finally the rising teenage star Holger Rune in the quarter finals.

As Ruud prepares for his first ever Grand Slam semi final, here is all you need to know about the young Norwegian’s career so far...

Who is Casper Ruud?

Ruud was born in 1998 in Oslo and is the son to former tennis player Christian Ruud who is also his current coach.

As a junior, Ruud reached the third round of the 2015 French Open boys’ singles as well as the 2015 boys’ US Open singles.

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In 2016, he was ranked as the number one junior player in the world, becoming the first Norwegian to have such a ranking and he would go on to play his first Futures tournament and ATP Challenger tournament in the same year.

The year finished with Ruud ranking at 225 in the ATP rankings, after he had received a wildcard to the 2016 Chengdu Open, his first ATP World Tour 250 series tournament.

Ruud’s first Grand Slam came at the 2018 Australian Open after he made his way through the qualifying stages.

In making it to the proper tournament of the Australian Open, Ruud became the first Norwegian to qualify for a Grand Slam main draw in 17 years.

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Ruud celebrates win at Argentina OpenRuud celebrates win at Argentina Open
Ruud celebrates win at Argentina Open | Getty Images

He has since gone on to reach the fourth round of the Australian Open (2021); the third round of the US Open (2019) and the first round of Wimbledon (2021) before reaching his historic Roland-Garros semi-final

Ruud’s first ATP title came in 2020 at the Argentina Open after he beat Pedro Sousa in the Final, becoming the first tennis player from Norway to win an ATP Tour title and also to appear in more than one ATP Tour Final.

In doing so, he also surpassed his father’s ranking of number 39 in the ATP rankings, ranking at a new career high of number 34.

Casper Ruud in 2022

Ruud was unable to compete at the Australian Open due to an injury, but on his return at the Argentina Open, he clinched his seventh ATP singles title.

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Following Ruud’s finals match at the 2022 Miami Open, where he lost to Spanish star Carlos Alcaraz, the young Norwegian reached a career ranking high of seventh.

He would then go on to defend his 2022 Geneva Open title, beating Joao Sousa in the final and playing in the longest championship match of the season in both time (3 hours 4 minutes) and games (36).

When is the French Open semi final?

Casper Ruud will play his first ever Grand Slam semi-final tomorrow, Friday 3 June 2022, at 4.30pm BST.

The match will be available to watch on EuroSport. Subscriptions for the sports site are available from £6.99.

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If Ruud wins his match against Croatian Marin Cilic, Ruud will face either Germany’s Alexander Zverev or the 21 Grand Slam winner Rafael Nadal.

These two will find out their fate after Ruud’s match tomorrow evening.

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