Holger Rune, who is known for being a bad boy for fighting with umpires and opponents, recently bolstered the positive side of his reputation by coming to the aid of one of his fellow players who faced severe abuse following a match.
The Dane also brushed off a legend’s praise of his game by saying that he didn’t share the same opinion of him, further bolstering his image as an outspoken youngster. While battling it out in the Nitto ATP Finals, Holger Rune sure knew how to stay relevant with the media.
Rune comes to Tsitsipas’ defense amid accusations
Stefanos Tsitsipas recently came under severe criticism for his retirement and forfeiture of his second-round Nitto ATP Finals match against Holger Rune. The Greek retired in the very first set, with the scoreline reading 0-3, and fans had none of his reasons and instead took to social media to accuse him of playing for the prize money alone.
The rules stated that a player needed to play a minimum of 3 games to be eligible for the prize money, which left Tsitsipas with a supposed easy way out of playing the match and still earning money.
“Shouldn’t Tsitsipas have canceled the match against Holger and given the place to the reserve Hurkacz? Playing 3 games in front of 14,000 spectators… Audience booed – makes more sense now with reflection… 3 games has previously been the limit to receive the prize money…” one user posted on X.
Holger Rune was having none of the accusations aimed at his fellow player and instead said the top eight players fight till the “very end”.
“We are not in Stefano’s body. So we cannot comment on what he should have done,” he wrote. “We are here to fight and win. No one here in the top 8 is a quitter and we will try to the end. If we only thought rationally, we wouldn’t be where we are today,” he added.
Stefanos, meanwhile, stated that a lower back injury was the reason he quit the match as he couldn’t continue much longer on the tennis court.
Holger Rune brushes off Djokovic’s praise
Holger Rune recently received a huge compliment from Novak Djokovic when the Serbian said it was like “looking at myself in a mirror” while playing the Dane. Holger Rune fought hard but slumped to a 6(4)-7, 7-6(1), 3-6 loss to Djokovic in the Nitto ATP Finals on Sunday.
“It’s like looking at myself in the mirror. He is so good all over the court. He has some amazing escapes at the net. He makes a big serve, he makes a kick serve. He is dynamic. He lives off the energy of the audience. He has everything in his game,” Djokovic said.
Djokovic also recently beat Rune in the Paris Masters and holds a 3-2 head-to-head record against the 20-year-old. Rune was not an easy opponent for Novak but the Dane seemed to see the situation differently.
“No. I mean, of course, I take the compliment that he’s saying we play similarly. I don’t think so, but that’s my opinion. It’s good to be comparing with him. He’s one of the greatest that we ever had in the game,” Rune said when asked about Djokovic’s comments.
Holger Rune went on to win his next match against Tsitsipas, while Djokovic lost a close contest with Jannik Sinner at the Nitto ATP Finals.
What are your opinions on Holger Rune’s support for Tsitsipas? Let us know in the comments section below.