All Rise For Rune! Why Becker & Team Get On Their Feet
Holger Rune hired former World No. 1 Boris Becker as his coach last month. Since then, Rune has rejuvenated his season following a mid-year slump. With a semi-final appearance in Basel backed up by a quarter-final run in Paris, Rune is now making his Nitto ATP Finals debut with Becker in his corner.
One notable trait in their young partnership is how often Becker rises to his feet while watching his player compete.
“Might be for the blood flow for the legs,” Rune joked in his post-match press conference. “I just think when he wants to do the coaching, he stands up. He can express more, his way of coaching me. So I think that's why. I haven't asked him why he does it.
“When I worked with Patrick [Mouratoglou], he also did it a lot. I think it's just a character thing that some do, some don't do. I like the way my box behaves. It's cool to have him, Lapo [Becherini] (strength & conditioning coach), Mike [James] (data analyst) and my mom to be here with me.”
Rune improved to 1-1 in Green Group on Tuesday when Stefanos Tsitsipas was forced to retire after just three games. The World No. 8 Rune, who suffered a three-set defeat to Novak Djokovic earlier this week, is soaking in his Turin debut.
“I think the Nitto ATP Finals is the biggest ATP event we have. I think it's a super, super exciting event because I compare it a little bit to Formula 1, because they have these smaller events with less players,” Rune said. “It's very intense. It's less matches. Top against top. Obviously you have one day of rest every time, so it's nice for the body also.”
The Dane’s next challenge will be to extend his 2-0 Lexus ATPHead2Head record against Italian Jannik Sinner.
“He can do whatever he wants on the court. He can hit a great forehand, great backhand, great volley. Great movement, serve, everything,” Rune said. “Obviously it's more tough here in Italy to play him. That's what it is. I'm just going to prepare.”
Rune also added that he was prepared for a normal match against Tsitsipas, who was physically unable to continue after 15 minutes.
"Unfortunate to end this way," Rune said. "I was just ready to compete and build on the level that I did on Sunday. Was expecting a different match obviously, but another tough one."