Holger Rune asserts himself more and more on the circuit. This Friday, the 19-year-old Dane struck a blow at the Rolex Paris Masters by dominating his rival since he was a youngster, Carlos Alcaraz, and by going for his first Masters 1000 semi-final. Patrick Mouratoglou’s new protégé won after the world number one retired 6-3, 6-6 (3-1). The former coach of Serena Williams, with the Rune team since the end of the US Open until the end of the year, returned on the superb progress of the young nugget just after the match. “He’s inhabited. He has a very strong belief in his ability to succeed. He’s believed in it since he was a kid. He’s a passionate guy who believes in himself!”
The 52-year-old coach began by talking about the world No. 18’s performance. “It’s an important milestone. The Masters 1000, there are the best, that’s where you want to shine. He’s on an important winning streak. Now we have to be able to say that we are in the top group. He still beat Wawrinka, two Top 10s and then Alcaraz. He showed that he deserved.” Before Bercy, Rune had already shone with a final in Sofia, a title in Stockholm and then a final in Basel. His success in the capital is not a big surprise.
Patrick Mouratoglou also spoke about his arrival in Team Rune and the progress of the latter in recent months. “A month ago, I was available and I was offered to be part of the team,” he explains. “Given the situation at the time, I said I was available until the end of the year, and then I didn’t know. They told me ‘we’ll take it.’ They considered that they needed an extra set of eyes. Having someone new in addition, they felt the need. For the past month, he has been calmer on the court. He used to panic more often. He’s more structured. He’s also taking things more in stride. What he’s doing is more stable.”
He then continued. “Everyone talks about Alcaraz because he is number one. We pay less attention to him ( Ed.: Holger Rune). If Alcaraz wasn’t there, everyone would say ‘Wow, that’s incredible’. That said, maybe it’s better for him. He has a lot of room for improvement. He’s playing at an incredible level but there are a lot of areas where he has a lot of room. Playing the number one player in the world, it’s not neutral. This is the first time he’s beaten one. They’ve known each other since they were kids. Carlos has risen to the number one spot faster. Obviously, it makes a lot of sense, it’s huge. It’s a match he’s been waiting for a long time (…) Since day one, he knows he’s going to be a tennis champion. That’s all he thinks about. When he’s not playing, he watches tennis videos. He is inhabited. He has a very strong belief in his ability to succeed. He’s believed in it since he was a kid. He’s a passionate person who believes in himself!” On Saturday, starting at 2 p.m., Holger Rune will try to win his first very big final. He will have to take revenge on Felix Auger-Aliassime, who beat him in the final in Basel last Sunday.
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