Holger Rune sticks to his gameplan to down Stefanos Tsitsipas
But for the gross overachievement of Carlos Alcaraz we might be talking about Holger Rune as the young breakout star of the ATP Tour this season.
Rune pulled off another blockbuster upset in the fourth round of the French Open when he beat Stefanos Tsitsipas 7-5, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.
He becomes the first Danish man to reach the quarter-finals at a Grand Slam in the Open Era.
Upset of the tournament? 👀
How teenager @holgerrune2003 knocked out world No.4 Stefanos Tsitsipas on his way to his first-ever Grand Slam quarter-final.@emirates | #EmiratesFlyBetterMoments | #RolandGarros pic.twitter.com/NcE2JcmriP
— Roland-Garros (@rolandgarros) May 30, 2022
Rune was wary of a dangerous opponent, who already has a Masters series title on clay to his name this season, and felt he needed to stick to the gameplan he came up with in conjunction with his team.
“I was very nervous but I know at the same time that if I go away from my tactics against a player like Tsitsipas I am going to lose for sure. I told myself just to keep at it and play my plan in the tough moments. It worked out so well in the end and gave me a huge confidence boost. It is just so great to still be here.”
Earlier this season Rune scored a massive upset win over Alexander Zverev in the week of his 19th birthday.
With family in attendance, an emotional Rune savoured another win over a top ten player and a first trip to the last eight of a Major.
“I get so emotional when I talk about family and coaches, but we are still in the quarter-finals, so we haven’t won the tournament yet,” Rune said. “My mum, my whole crew up there is why I am here today. I am so grateful to have such a team helping me in tough situations.”
Rune is set to face Casper Ruud in an all-Scandinavian affair after the Norwegian put down Hubert Hurkacz 6-2, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 to book his spot in the last eight at a Grand Slam for the first time.
The defeat left Tsitsipas with plenty to digest and his post-match match comments reflected a man with some regret. He felt perhaps a few changes to his equipment didn’t help his game in Paris.
“I was struggling a lot the last couple of days in terms of finding my rhythm,” he said. “I was very nervous on the court, being frustrated a lot, and I knew I was this way, but I couldn’t stop being like this.
“Especially when you feel like there have been a few changes in terms of equipment and stuff like that, but I wouldn’t attribute that to the equipment, I wouldn’t put all of the blame on the equipment because it’s something that I chose for my personal progress and getting better.”
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