Cilic hits 33 aces to reach first French Open semi-final


Croatia's Marin Cilic fired 33 aces past seventh-seeded Andrey Rublev to reach his first French Open semi-final on Wednesday with a 5-7, 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (10/2) win.

Cilic, the 2014 US Open champion, also crashed 88 winners in the four-hour 10-minute tie and will play either eighth-seeded Casper Ruud of Norway or Danish teenager Holger Rune for a place in Sunday's final.

The 33-year-old Cilic becomes only the fifth active men's player after Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Andy Murray to make the semi-finals at all four Slams.

Rublev, playing in his fifth quarter-final at the majors, grabbed the first set but wilted under a Cilic barrage over the next two.

The Croatian had stunned world number two Daniil Medvedev in the fourth round and he rediscovered that free-swinging assault to level the contest with a 17th ace on a fifth set point.

He pocketed the third with a lone break in the seventh game.

Rublev, who had knocked Cilic out of the Australian Open in January, battled back with a crucial break in the eighth game of the fourth set.

Cilic, the 2017 Wimbledon and 2018 Australian Open runner-up to Federer, had a match point saved in the ninth game of the decider but swept through the super tiebreaker.