Ruud vs. Cilic Odds
|Total||39.5 (-115 / -115)|
|Time||11:30 a.m. ET|
|Odds through Caesars. For tips on watching tennis matches, click here.|
For all the madness in the bottom half of the draw, Casper Ruud has quietly gone about his business and defeated the opponents he was expected to defeat, reaching the semifinals of a Grand Slam for the first time.
It’s not Marin Cilic’s first rodeo in the semis of a Grand Slam, but it is when it comes to the clay of the French Open. His appearance here was far more improbable, but one that is absolutely earned.
Who reaches the final, and where is the value? Let’s take a look.
Ruud Coming Through Shaky Moments
The young Norwegian has finally produced the first few truly meaningful results of his career in 2022. He’s gone to the final of a Masters 1000 and followed that up with his first trip to a Grand Slam semifinal in Paris.
For those unfamiliar, Ruud has quickly risen up the ranks in the last two years. He’s gotten to the top 10 with a blistering forehand that can rival almost anyone’s on tour and with an improved serve.
The knock on Ruud was that he managed to earn the bulk of his ranking points through victories at the smallest tournaments of the year where the competition isn’t great, but he’s managed to quiet those critics in 2022.
It hasn’t come without nervous moments, though. In reaching the Miami final, Ruud struggled to pocket the first set against a vastly inferior Francisco Cerundolo. Here at the French Open, he has dropped many sets to players he should be comfortably dispatching.
Again on Wednesday we saw some nervous moments. Ruud easily took the first set from Holger Rune and grabbed an early break in the second, but he would later give it back and eventually fumble the set away.
In the third he led by a break but failed to close the set out in short order and required a tiebreak to get across the finish line.
It should be said that for all these shaky moments, Ruud has come through every match so far as the victor. It could only be a matter of time, though, before he faces someone who takes advantage of his nerves.
Cilic Showing Best Clay Level
The former US Open champion has dropped just three sets so far in Paris, two of which came in an epic quarterfinal clash with Andrey Rublev on Wednesday.
Cilic’s serving has been sensational all tournament long, getting him out of many break points and helping him preserve his leads in sets. He truly looks like a man who could win this tournament.
The big man wasn’t made to work very hard prior to the win over Rublev, so he should be said he will enter this match against Ruud feeling relatively fresh. He was the beneficiary of a soft draw in the first few rounds, but has really hit his stride with back-to-back top-10 wins over Rublev and Daniil Medvedev.
Medvedev was playing quality tennis before getting run over by Cilic in straight sets.
The Croatian has never beaten Ruud, but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t come close. The two met in Rome two years ago, with Ruud taking the first set 6-2 and the second in an epic 13-point tiebreak.
Cilic managed to take a set off of Ruud on a hardcourt at the Toronto Masters last year before the Norwegian outlasted him in three.
Cilic’s head-to-head with Medvedev prior to their meeting in Paris looked a lot like his current head-to-head with Ruud. Some very close encounters, but no wins.
He is truly playing some special tennis at the moment, crushing his forehand in huge spots and getting himself out of trouble with his massive serve. Cilic was working the Rublev backhand the entire match, and eventually he got him exactly what he wanted.
That shot is the Russian’s biggest weakness, and he was unable to produce the quality that Cilic was daring him to produce.
The Ruud backhand is even worse than the Rublev backhand. It has absolutely nothing on it and consistently fails to find the court. Cilic is rock solid off of both wings and I see no reason why he won’t continue to pick on that shot.
Furthermore, I did mention above how Ruud has been giving his opponents a peek into matches, whether it was Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Lorenzo Sonego or Holger Rune. Those guys didn’t have the mental makeup or the experience to take their chances, but Cilic will.
This guy has won a Grand Slam before and he just beat one of the best players in the world. When Ruud inevitably has a mental lapse, Cilic should be right there to pounce and take this match.
I think he has a very fair chance to win and I don’t understand these odds.
Pick: Cilic +185