Holger Rune: the rising star who never stops believing | ATP circuit
This July, Rune HolgerThe rapid ascent of had come to a screeching halt.
Until 2021 Intesa Sanpaolo Next Generation ATP Finals competitor, the Rune season had started well. The teenager, who began the year outside the Top 100 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings, quickly rose to the Top 50 by lifting his first ATP Tour trophy in Munich and advancing to Roland Garros quarter finals. The only player younger than the Dane in the Top 50 was Carlos Alcaraz.
But what seemed like a smooth road revealed potholes. After losing to casper ruud in the quarterfinals on the Parisian clay, Rune lost seven straight matches. For nearly two months, he didn’t win a set against a Top 100 player.
“It was tough for sure. When you lose a couple of games in a row, you have to take revenge and you have [to think about] your goals that you want to achieve. But I think it’s normal in a way,” Rune told ATPTour.com. “He’s going up and sometimes he’s going down a little bit. You have to accept it because this is sport. Everyone can beat everyone, so it’s just a matter of accepting it and continuing to believe.
“[To] Keeping faith is the most important thing. That’s also what kept me going. Basically I am a guy who is very motivated no matter what, so that is something that is helping me as well.
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In Hamburg, the 19-year-old lost his sixth match in a row. He remembers thinking to himself about what was happening.
“It really wasn’t a nice feeling,” Rune told ATPTour.com. “I told myself, ‘I still have to get motivated and get back to practicing.’ As soon as I got back into practice, because I love tennis so much, I was super motivated and then I was excited about the American swing and that’s when I got things going again.”
After reaching the third round of the US Open and the quarterfinal in Metz, Rune won 19 of their next 21 matches. He reached the final in Sofia, triumphed in Stockholm, advanced to the championship match in Basel and had the best result of his career in Paris, where he captured his first ATP Masters 1000 crown.
Rune not only won the Rolex Masters of Parisbut he did it in style, becoming the first player since the inception of the ATP Tour (1990) to record five Top 10 wins at a tournament outside of the Nitto ATP Finals. He passed with shaped claws Novak Djokovic in the end.
Holger Rune celebrates his triumph in Paris with his team.” />
Photo Credit: Corinne Dubreuil/ATP Tour
Patrick Mouratoglou, who officially joined Rune’s team in October, was impressed by the Dane’s recovery.
“He shows that his character can recover and that is also what we say about champions,” Mouratoglou told ATPTour.com. “It’s not about what they earn, it’s about how they bounce back when they’re in trouble. So I think it’s a good indicator of his personality, how strong he is, how much he likes it, and how much he can bounce back. [back].
“A champion can bounce back during a game when he’s in trouble, during a season when he’s in trouble. They are capable of finding within themselves the necessary strengths to find the solutions to reverse a difficult situation”.
With his big win in Paris, Rune broke into the Top 10 in the world. Although he is happy with his progress, Rune has long talked about his dreams of becoming world number 1. What does it take to get there?
“It is definitely to continue to improve a lot. Continue to improve my service, return, everything possible. And it’s the same with the mental side: keep your composure in those important moments, be brave,” Rune said. “There are many small things that are very important.
“Also, now that I’ve been in the Top 10, it’s going to be even more difficult because people are starting to know more about my game, so I have to keep improving. “It’s going to be fun and a great experience.”