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Nadal Reaches French Open Final on Zverev’s Abrupt Injury

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Ruud, 23, became the primary Norwegian man to succeed in a Grand Slam singles final with a victory, 3-6, 6-4, 6-2, 6-2, over No. 20 Marin Cilic, the 2014 U.S. Open champion who has been resurgent in Paris at age 33.

The match was interrupted for about quarter-hour when a young protester attached herself to the web through the sixth game of the third set. In a press release, the French Tennis Federation said that “the safety team needed to formally discover the objects she used to get onto the court before they might remove her.”

Each players left the court, but once they returned, Ruud, the more natural clay-court master, maintained control as Cilic’s unforced-error count kept climbing.

It should be the primary meeting on tour for Ruud and Nadal, but they know one another well. Ruud has trained usually at Nadal’s academy in Mallorca for several years, and Nadal has been his inspiration for his skill, sportsmanship and combative spirit.

“He’s been my idol for all my life,” said Ruud, who has played quite a few practice sets with Nadal.

Asked how lots of Nadal’s 13 French Open finals he had watched, he replied, “probably all of them,” reeling off the names of most of his opponents.

Ruud, whose father and coach, Christian, is a former skilled player, had not been past the fourth round in a Grand Slam tournament until now. He rose into the highest 10 last 12 months for the primary time on the strength of his victories in regular tour events.

But he took full advantage of his spot within the more welcoming bottom half of the boys’s draw on this French Open and now will attempt to do what no man has ever managed defeat Nadal in a French Open final.

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