French Open Quarterfinal Predictions Including Marin Cilic vs Andrey Rublev

Marin Cilic French Open Round 4
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The bottom half of the French Open draw is wide open, with only former US Open champion Marin Cilic and three-time Grand Slam finalist Marin Cilic having ever reached the final of a major. His opponent Andrey Rublev is in a second career French Open quarterfinal (5 slam quarterfinals overall), while young guns Casper Ruud and Holger Rune, both from Scandinavia, putting together their best ever Grand Slam campaigns and reaching slam quarterfinals for the first time ever. Our panelists take a look at the two remaining Roland Garros quarterfinals as the semifinals will be set on Wednesday in Paris.

Casper Ruud vs Holger Rune

Wesley Heilman: Not long ago this would have been an easy pick in favor of Ruud, but Rune is rising very quickly, having dispatched both Denis Shapovalov and Stefanos Tsitsipas here on the big stage of the French Open. Ruud, for his part, has come through a fairly difficult draw as well, and still sits as one of the best clay courters in the world. He hasn’t been trustworthy in Slams, though, and this could be a very good opportunity for young Rune to assert himself as a real challenger at the top level. Ruud has too much success on clay for me to pick against him here, but I’m not confident. Ruud in 5

Damian Kust: Before this fortnight, everyone was afraid of Holger Rune cramping up again, especially in a best-of-five scenario. The Dane has enjoyed the slightly cooler temperatures in Paris this week though and also benefitted from eliminating all his opponents in four sets maximum. Casper Ruud has had his fair share of hiccups, almost going to a decider against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, and prevailing in five over Lorenzo Sonego. The Norwegian should be the first one to ask the fitness questions and he also has a much higher floor than his fellow Scandinavian opponent. Rune might have the higher peak, but to repeat a performance like against Tsitsipas seems next to impossible at this stage. Ruud in 4

Yesh Ginsburg: This all-Scandinavian battle might be something of a sign for the future of clay court tennis. Eventually the occasion will catch up with Rune, but he’s playing better than Ruud right now. Rune in 4

Steen Kirby: This pair have met three times on clay in the last year, Ruud has won every match and is 6-0 in terms of sets played. Rune has dropped just one set this week against Tsitsipas in the previous round and is playing some elite clay court tennis, but Ruud is still going to be a tough opponent. The Dane is playing with house money though at this point as few had him making it this far in a Slam as a teenager. Ruud dropped a set to Hubert Hurkacz in the previous round and has had some wars of attrition this week, he’s still the more experienced player and that h2h has to make him the favorite even if Rune has more than a puncher’s chance here. Ruud in 5

Marin Cilic vs Andrey Rublev

Wesley: This is a tough match to call, as neither Rublev nor Cilic has had a particularly difficult draw (remember Medvedev hates clay), and their records this year look better to me than their wins. Neither has beaten good competition at Roland Garros the last few years either. The H2H is mostly hard court, including Cilic’s win earlier this year, and I don’t trust either player over the other right now. Rublev in 5

Damian: Marin Cilic had an awesome performance in the fourth round against Daniil Medvedev, but the opponent was in no mood to play. Andrey Rublev dropped at least a set in all his matches so far, never playing great but just coming up with what was required of him. Cilic took their only clay-court meeting in Geneva seven years ago, but with Rublev being merely 17 back then it obviously doesn’t feel too relevant in regards to this clash. The Russian hasn’t played his best at this stage of a Grand Slam before and with Cilic’s experience in Majors and his crazy peak level, he might be able to secure a spot in the semifinals at Roland Garros for the very first time. Cilic in 5

Yesh: Marin Cilic looks back at close to his former glory. He is in absolutely blistering form and the clay is suiting his game perfectly. Andrey Rublev, meanwhile, probably shouldn’t even be here right now. Jannik Sinner was dominating him before being forced to withdraw with injury. I really like how Cilic looks. Cilic in 4

Steen: Cilic won their meeting at this year’s Australian Open, it was just the second win for the veteran Croatian against the Russian Rublev, who now leads the h2h 4-2, losing their only meeting on clay in Geneva in 2015. Rublev hasn’t had a routine match all week, he benefited from Jannik Sinner’s injury in the previous round and is somewhat lucky to be here. Cilic has played lights out relying on his serve and forehand and dropping just one set in four matches this week. Daniil Medvedev was routed and left without answers by Cilic’s game in the previous round. Presuming Cilic maintains his current form he should be able to go all the way to the final and this match won’t be too much of a contest. Rublev could raise his game but I am doubtful. Cilic in 3

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