Former world No. 3 Marin Cilic said being aggressive in the fifth set tie-break versus Andrey Rublev was the logical choice as he felt he had to earn the victory. On Wednesday, 33-year-old Cilic edged out Rublev in a thriller 5-7 6-3 6-4 3-6 7-6 (2) to reach his first French Open semifinal.
Cilic missed out on a match point on Rublev serve in the 10th game of the fifth set but also saved a break point in the 11th game. Rublev served out the 12th game and the winner had to be decided in a tie-break. At the Grand Slams, the winner of a fifth set tie-break is the player who gets first to 10 points and a 2-point margin.
Cilic dominated the tie-break with a 10-2 score and after the match was asked about his aggressive approach in the fifth set tie-breaker.
Cilic: Rublev played inredivle
“It comes from being me," Cilic said of his aggressive approach, per the ATP website.
"I played that kind of tennis the whole match, and especially the fifth set was an incredible battle. Andrey played incredibly well, and it was an incredible fair-play performance on the court. A lot of heart, and one had to go down.
Today was my day, but Andrey also played an incredible match”. Cilic and Rublev are well-known to each other as on Wednesday they played their seventh meeting. Cilic now owns a 5-2 head-to-head versus Rublev. “Andrey plays a difficult game," Cilic added.
"Serves big, hits big. You don’t have many chances and you have to keep up with your level and I did that. Unfortunately, I lost that fourth set, I felt I was close to get the break maybe, but Andrey played really well and when you play this long it’s always going to be a little bit up and down during the match”. Cilic plays in the French Open semifinal the winner of the match between Casper Ruud and Holger Rune.