After experiencing a quarterfinal defeat against Casper Ruud for the second consecutive year at the French Open, Holger Rune anticipates that the Norwegian is the favourite for the semifinal and will make it to consecutive Roland Garros finals.
In a rematch of last year's quarterfinal showdown, the fourth-seeded Ruud earned a 6-1, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 victory against Rune to continue his bid for a second consecutive final at the clay-court major. He will meet Alexander Zverev in Friday's semifinal.
Rune, who has had his two best major showings by reaching back-to-back quarters at Roland Garros, is the second Danish man after Kurt Neilsen to reach that stage in multiple majors.While clearly disappointed with the loss, the 20-year-old Dane was quick to tip his hat to the locked-in Norwegian.
"I'll probably say Casper is the favourite for the semifinal, but, again Zverev, if you asked me one year ago I would probably say that Zverev is the favourite. It's tough to say. Zverev is coming back strong after his injury, but right now I think I see Casper in the final," Rune was quoted by Roland Garros' website.
The victory moved Ruud above Rune to No.5 in the ATP Live Rankings; he could rise past Stefanos Tsitsipas and maintain his status as World No.4 by reaching his third Grand Slam final, but cannot move any higher even with his first major title.
"I think I was less sharp. I think Casper is a really, really solid player. His lower level is really high. He never drops. I think maybe he does, but you don't really feel it. I have to play some of my best tennis every time I play him to beat him or have a chance to beat him.
I managed to do that in Rome."It's tough...In the key moments, he was more brave and went for his shots and made them. So, yeah, credit to him," Rune said.