ATP Roland Garros: Marin Cilic tops Andrey Rublev in a thriller

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ATP Roland Garros: Marin Cilic tops Andrey Rublev in a thriller

Marin Cilic came to Roland Garros with only six ATP wins on his tally after the Australian swing. Based on his recent results, the Croat could not expect a deep run in Paris, but he has proven all the doubters wrong. Marin earned five Roland Garros victories to advance into the sixth Major semi-final and the first on clay, becoming the fifth active player with a semi-final at all four Majors.

Marin played one of his best matches at Majors in the fourth round against Daniil Medvedev, storming over world no. 2 and setting the clash against another Russian. Andrey Rublev gave his best to stay in touch against the more experienced rival, and they went down to the wire.

Cilic prevailed 5-7, 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 in four hours and 10 minutes, delivering mind-blowing tennis in the match tie break to find himself in the last four. Marin fired 33 aces, and he needed every single one after taking only five points more than Andrey.

Marin Cilic overpowered Andrey Rublev after over four hours.

There was nothing to separate them in the shortest and more advanced rallies, and they pushed each other to the limits on Court Philippe-Chatrier. Rublev took 11 return points more but could not turn them into a favorable result.

They both grabbed two breaks from 15 chances in total, and the match tie break was the only proper way to determine the winner. The servers made a great start and claimed the opening six games in 21 minutes for 3-3. The Russian increased the pace on the return and pushed the rival to the limits in games seven, nine and 11.

Cilic survived five break points to lock the result at 5-5 before spraying a forehand error in game 11 to fall behind. Andrey served for the set at 6-5 and held at love to wrap up the opener and gain a boost. Marin scored an early break in the second set and produced four holds after deuces to keep his service games intact and claim the set 6-3.

With a boost on his side, the Croat dropped seven points in his games in the third set and kept the pressure on the other side. Marin broke Andrey with a forehand drive-volley winner at 3-3 for a crucial break and held after deuce in game ten for 6-4 after two hours and 26 minutes.

With no room for errors, Rublev lost five points behind the initial shot in the fourth set, broke in game eight and closed it in the next one to force a decider. They stayed neck and neck in the deciding set's opening nine games, and Rublev fended off a match point on his serve in game ten for 5-5.

Cilic saved a break chance in the next one with a powerful serve and dominated the match tie break with an incredible hitting to claim it 10-2 and advance into the semis.