Holger Rune defends bad boy image, says Roger Federer was ’40 times worse’ as a youngster

Holger Rune delighted

Holger Rune believes he has “plenty of time” to improve his image, saying the great Roger Federer was “40 times worse than I was” when he was a youngster.

The 19-year-old is enjoying his breakthrough season on the ATP Tour as he started the 2022 campaign outside the top 100, but rose to a career-high of No 28 last week on the back of a run to the quarter-final of the French Open and his first singles title in Munich in April.

While there been plenty of positives on court, he also attracted criticism for his behaviour during and after his defeat to Casper Ruud at Roland Garros. At one point he screamed at his mother, prompting her to leave the court, while he also refused to shake Ruud’s hand and later accused the Norwegian of shouting in his face.

Casper Ruud addresses Holger Rune’s accusations

The Dane, though, defended himself and even dragged 20-time Grand Slam winner Federer into the conversation, saying the tennis icon was also notorious for his antics early on in his career.

“I have an extreme passion for this sport, and sometimes I show it too much. But I’m 19, I’m still young, and I work every day to bring out only the positive in my attitude, and that’s a process,” he told Ekstra Bladet.

“If you saw Roger Federer as a youngster, then he was maybe 40 times worse than I was – and he is one of the most beloved tennis players on the tour, so I think I have plenty of time to get an even better image.”

He added: “I just see it as differences, and I think that’s nice. If all people were the same and thought the same, it would be horrible to live in this world. It’s cool that you think what you want, and you like the character you like.”