Holger Rune needs mayhem says pundit after tame French Open exit

James Richardson
Holger Rune during a match
Holger Rune in action

Former French Open champion Mats Wilander believes that Holger Rune needs a spark to fire him up at times.

Rune went down in four sets but surrendered the first two tamely in a weak start.

The Swede feels that it isn’t in Rune’s nature to be ‘on’ from the get-go all the time but felt that he needed to do something to get himself up for big matches.

“I don’t know if we can ever expect him to be a hundred percent committed professionally, emotionally, physically from the beginning of every match,” Wilander said on Eurosport’s The Cube.

“I just don’t think that’s his personality.

“I think he needs mayhem, he needs a little bit of that Nick Kyrgios, and he didn’t have that.

“He was flat and I think it’s a learning lesson for him, but again I don’t know if he has the energy to be because he’s so fired up in a way – but not with his tennis racquet in his hand.”

Wilander was surprised that Rune didn’t really respond to dropping the first set and only rallied in the third set.

“I would have expected him [Rune] to get a little more fired up early in the second set,” Wilander continued.

“I mean, I can’t believe I’m saying this, but maybe start talking to his box, start screaming at his box, start finding people in the stands, just to do something.

“Eventually though he started actually, I think, getting a bit irritated with the other side of the stadium which is where Casper Ruud’s box is, and I think he was using that.

“He needs something. I think that’s going to be his strength, but it’s also going to be a weakness in certain situations.”

Meanwhile former British No 1 Tim Henman felt that Rune suffered from a lack of a clear gameplan to break down Ruud.

“He had 15-40 in Ruud’s first service game and you thought ‘ok, here’s a good opportunity’. And then once Ruud held serve, it was bizarre, it was just one-way traffic,” Henman said.

“Rune was not really timing the ball, he was making all sorts of unforced errors. He looked like, mentally, he just didn’t have a game plan.

“I think sometimes you can play badly and it takes you time to find your form, you know, maybe after a set then you get going.

“But in such a big match for such a good player – yes, he’s young, he’s not massively experienced – but you know, for those first two sets to be 6-1 6-2, I think was a massive surprise to everyone.”

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