Stefanos Tsitsipas on ‘fearless’ Holger Rune: ‘He reminds me of myself when I was first on the Tour’

Holger Rune sticks to his gameplan to down Stefanos Tsitsipas

Holger Rune has received high praise from Stefanos Tsitsipas with the Greek likening the teenager’s fearless and aggressive tennis to his own game when he just broke through.

Two years after making his professional debut, the 19-year-old Rune is enjoying his best season on the ATP Tour as he won the Bavarian Championships in May and the Stockholm Open a fortnight ago.

The Dane defeated Tsitsipas in the ATP250 event in Sweden, winning 6–4, 6–4, while he also finished runner-up at the Sofia Open and Sunday’s Swiss Indoors in Basel. Having started the year at No 103 in the ATP Rankings, he now finds himself at a career-high No 18.

Tsitsipas certainly knows what is like to lose against Rune as he was also on the receiving end of a defeat at this year’s French Open and the Greek is impressed by the young gun.

“Rune might not be top 10 yet, but I see him there very soon. I feel like I’m against a top-three guy when I play him,” the world No 5 told Eurosport.

“I don’t see his ranking because it doesn’t match with what he’s capable of.

“It’s such a great challenge because he’s playing such fearless tennis. It kind of reminds me of myself when I was first on the Tour, you kind of play this tennis that you can’t play every day.

“If it’s consistent like this every single day, it’s honestly unbelievable. But I remember when I started with ATP 250s, and started getting my first wins in Qatar, the tennis I played back then compared to now was so much more free and aggressive, to the extreme I would say.

“It kind of reminds me of that. It’s not easy to play against players like this, they have no sense of fear, no sense of responsibility of what they’re going to do, and that can be dangerous.”

Rune could still climb further up the rankings as he finds himself in the third round of the Paris Masters after defeating Stan Wawrinka and 10th seed Hubert Hurkacza in the first two rounds.

Having been part of the Mouratoglou since a young age, Rune started working full-time with Patrick Mouratoglou at the beginning of October and it has certainly paid off.

“The opportunity presented itself for Patrick to join my team full time and, even if only until the end of the year, it will be a valuable learning experience for both me and my coach,” he said of the collaboration.

“I’ve seen how he works with his players and I’ve been on the pitch with Patrick many times to coach when he was in the academy. I like his approach and the knowledge of him is indisputable, the whole team has an incredible energy.”

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