Five Things To Know About 17-Year-Old Holger Vitus Nodskov Rune
Holger Vitus Nodskov Rune advanced through ATP Tour qualifying for the first time on Monday by defeating Renzo Olivo 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 in two hours and 32 minutes to reach the main draw of the Chile Dove Men+Care Open.
Last week, Rune made his ATP Tour main draw debut at the Argentina Open, where he lost in three sets against Albert Ramos-Vinolas. But in Buenos Aires, he was a wild card. In Santiago, Rune made the main draw the hard way.
“It feels incredibly good. Last week I had a tough match against Ramos-Vinolas, losing in three sets. But I managed to get over it pretty fast and took the good things from the match and managed to get them somehow into my game in the qualifying here,” Rune said. “I played three very solid matches. I think I was fighting incredibly good and I’m very happy to be in the main draw.”
Rune will be right back in action on Tuesday when he plays former junior World No. 1 Sebastian Baez, another qualifier. First, ATPTour.com caught up with the #NextGenATP player from Denmark to learn five things you should know about him.
He Is The Junior World No. 1
Rune became the junior World No. 1 on 28 October 2019. The Dane made his biggest splash five months earlier in Paris.
Rune won the Roland Garros boys’ singles title just after his 16th birthday. During his run, Rune only lost one set, and he punctuated his victory by beating Toby Kodat 6-0 in a deciding set.
The Dane Began His Tennis Journey Playing With His Sister
When Rune was six, his sister, Alma, began playing tennis. That led him to try the sport, and Rune has been hooked ever since.
“I went down to try it and I’ve always found it amazing to play tennis. From the beginning I’ve always taken tennis 100 per cent seriously and always enjoyed it and had fun with it,” Rune said. “I’ve always had a big passion for it and here I am still playing and enjoying it, so it’s good.
“We played a lot together because [my sister] is four years older than me and obviously she was better than me at the beginning so we played a lot of points against each other. I always wanted to be better and she wanted to be better than me, so we had some fun and we played a lot together. I think that definitely helped my young career.”
Rune Was A Nitto ATP Finals Practice Partner
After winning the 2019 Red Bull Next Gen Open, which was held in conjunction with the Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan, Rune travelled to London to serve as a practice partner at the Nitto ATP Finals.
“That was crazy. To be able to play with Roger, Novak and all these guys was a dream come true because you always watch them on TV and you see how they are during tournaments and everything and also see that they’re humans, too,” Rune said. “Sometimes you see them in Grand Slam finals and they’re just playing unbelievable, but you know they have the same issues as normal players have. They just are so professional and very good mentally on the court.
“All of them are very nice. [They are] really good people off the court, so I was enjoying their time there.”
“He gave me some advice on my serve because he always had a good serve. He was like, ‘Okay, try to do a little bit more of that with the left arm and follow through more,’” Rune recalled. “I didn’t ask the players for advice, they were just very happy to hit with me. I thought it was a great experience for me to be able to have a lot of practice with them.”
Rune Is Following In Wozniacki’s Footsteps
The most famous Danish tennis player in history is former World No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki, who won the 2018 Australian Open. Rune will try to follow in her footsteps.
“She was an unbelievable fighter on the court and I think we could learn a lot from her,” Rune said. “Tennis is getting bigger and bigger in Denmark, which is good, I think, more focus on it. Hopefully we can also have some tournaments there one day. I’m just glad we’re doing well.”
Another female Dane, Clara Tauson, won her first WTA Tour title last week in Lyon aged 18. On the men’s side, the only other player in the Top 1,000 of the FedEx ATP Rankings is World No. 190 Mikael Torpegaard. Frederik Nielsen, the world’s No. 61 doubles player, won the Wimbledon doubles title in 2012 alongside Jonathan Marray.
Rune Wants To Be Known For His Competitive Spirit
In the third set of his final round of qualifying against Olivo, Rune cramped. But instead of fading away, the Dane battled until the end, and his persistence was rewarded with a spot in the main draw. That is how Rune wants fans to know him: as a player who will fight until the last point.
“I would like them to see me as a good fighter on the court, which I showed today,” Rune said. “I was cramping a lot, but I managed to get through.”
What else does the teenager want fans know about him?
“I’m in general a happy guy. I love tennis and I love traveling for tournaments,” Rune said. “My game style I like to play aggressive, I like to play on clay, hard court. I don’t mind any surface.”