Holger Rune benefits from slack officiating in narrow French Open win

Holger Rune in action

There was controversy in Holger Rune’s five-set victory over Francisco Cerundolo as umpire Kader Nounin missed a clear double bounce.

Rune was awarded a point after Cerundolo stopped playing having seen the ball take a clear second bounce during the fourth game of the third set.

Rune took the match 7-6(3), 3-6, 6-4, 1-6, 7-6(10-7) in the end and with the margin so slender Cerundolo might have every right to feel aggrieved.

Eurosport commentators Barry Cowan and Naomi Cavaday were dismayed by the incident.

“Oh, my goodness, oh my goodness!” Cowan said in disbelief on the live Eurosport feed from Roland Garros.

“Controversy here. Lots to pick out in this point. Clearly, it double-bounced. But then also, why is he playing too? Is it because the ball kid moved? I see loads of ball kids move.

“Well, well, well. The umpire has made a huge mistake here. Would he have known that that was a double-bounce, Rune?

“Oh, so he penalised Cerundolo? But he didn’t stop, unless he said something, because I’ll see players stop in a point, and then all of a sudden they give them the fake.”

Cavaday would add: “Oh, no! Maybe it was because Cerundolo stopped playing. A big mistake and it’s so costly!

“He stopped before he hit the final shot because there was the double bounce from Rune. He hadn’t picked the ball up.”

Rune was clearly relieved to have avoid a Round of 16 exit after going out at the same stage in his last Grand Slam outing.

“I had a heartbreaking loss in Australia, where I had this situation,” said Rune in his on-court interview. “I served for the match and lost and ended up in a Match Tie-break like this, so actually I told myself when we started the Match Tie-break [today] just to relax and play tennis and enjoy [it].

“Moments like this stay with you forever, no matter if you win or lose, you just go and enjoy and try to play your best, so I enjoyed every moment.”

While he didn’t address the double bounce controversy, Rune gave credit to his opponent for a great performance in their five set epic.

”He’s playing amazing, especially on clay,” said Rune. “I think it’s a surface that suits his game very well. He has a big forehand, a big swing. So when he gets the time, as we saw when I was [serving] for the match, he hit two forehand winners and he was just too good. So credit to him, he’s a very nice guy and I wish him all the best.”

Rune goes on to face Casper Ruud in the last eight.

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