Generali Open Kitzbühel: Holger Rune turns words into deeds
Holger Rune is considered one of the greatest talents in tennis. At the Generali Open in Kitzbühel, the Dane reached the round of 16 after qualifying.
by Jens Huiber
last edit: Jul 27, 2021, 09:01 pm
From Jens Huiber from Kitzbühel
Holger Vitus Nodskov Rune made an offer to the organizers on the ATP tour a few months ago: Please give him, the former winner of the junior competition at the French Open, a wildcard for the main draw. In return, he, Rune, would go to smaller events even after he was number one in the tennis world. Which, in Rune's opinion, doesn't seem to be in any doubt. The 18-year-old Dane has already experienced firsthand what the absolute top of the world looks like during training sessions with Novak Djokovic in Monte Carlo.
In contrast to his colleagues in Umag, Bastad, Monte Carlo or Buenos Aires, Alex Antonitsch, tournament director in Kitzbühel, did not accept the tempting offer from Holger Rune. And so the Teeanger, who has improved from position 475 to currently 206 this season, had to go through two qualifying games at the Generali Open in Kitzbühel.
Rune now against cattle servants
Which didn't hurt him on Tuesday in round one of the main field against the Italian Stefano Travaglia. Rune started nervously, in the second sentence his hand also shook - but in the end there was a 6: 3 and 6: 4 for the teenager. What a meeting with Arthur Rinderknech will entail, already on Wednesday, when the round of 16 will be held at the foot of the Kitzbüheler Horn.
He was hungry for this match, said Rune at his press conference after the victory against Travaglia. An impression that the fans in Kitzbühel were able to gain on Tuesday: There is a young man on the pitch who wants one thing above all: to win. Holger Rune is pleased that he can fall back on a fairly broad portfolio of strokes: The kick service is particularly fun in the high altitude of Kitzbühel, Rune masters the basic strokes in the heavy and fast variations, in case of doubt even both . The footwork is excellent for its age, as is the constant pushing of oneself.
Carlos Alcaraz as an incentive
Now, as an 18-year-old, it's not that easy these days: With Carlos Alcaraz, a man of this age won his first title on the ATP tour in Umag on Sunday. He knows Alcaraz well, Rune said, but he doesn't see himself exposed to any particular pressure. The Spaniard would then be a few days older, it is rather gratifying that tournament victories are apparently also possible in teenage years. If these are also the order of the day for Holger Vitus Nodskov Rune, the wildcards will have done that too.
Here the single tableau in Kitzbühel