Match Reaction

'No Excuse': Rune Rues Slow Start vs. Ruud

Dane looking forward to grass-court season
June 07, 2023
Holger Rune exits Roland Garros in the quarter-finals for the second straight year.
Peter Staples
Holger Rune exits Roland Garros in the quarter-finals for the second straight year. By ATP Staff

Holger Rune made a spirited comeback bid on Wednesday night against Casper Ruud, but ultimately found a two-set hole too much to dig out of after a sluggish start in the Roland Garros quarter-finals. While the Dane was quick to credit his opponent after the 1-6, 2-6, 6-3, 3-6 defeat, Rune ultimately put the blame for the result squarely on his own shoulders.

"I think I started very, very bad, unfortunately," he reflected. "I didn't find my level at all the first two sets. Then I started to play a little bit better, found some rhythm in my game, managed to put him under pressure.

"But, again, it's too costly to start so late. Against a great player like him, he deserved to win because, first of all, I wasn't there the first two sets. But you cannot allow yourself to do that when you play a player like Casper, and any player at the top of the game, because it's too long of a way back. Credit to him for staying there."

After making 30 unforced errors in the first two sets, Rune began to fire off his forehand wing to take set three. But it was too little, too late, as Ruud closed out the win in a competitive fourth set.

Asked if his exertions in a five-set, fourth-round win against Francisco Cerundolo affected his play, Rune dismissed the idea. 

"Not at all. I was fine physically. No excuse," he said. "I just didn't play my level. It's tough, but sometimes it's like this, and you have to learn from it, come back stronger. We have another Grand Slam around the corner, so I hope to be stronger there. I'm happy that the clay season is over now. I'm ready to move on. Yeah, just focused on the grass now."

The ATP Tour's grass swing begins on 12 June with a pair of ATP 250 events in Stuttgart and 's-Hertogenbosch.

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