Rune Crowns Birthday Week With Munich Title

#NextGenATP Dane lifts trophy without dropping a set at ATP 250 event

Holger Rune became an ATP Tour winner for the first time on Saturday, after his opponent Botic van de Zandschulp was forced to retire in the final of the BMW Open by American Express in Munich.

Van de Zandschulp led 4-3 in the opening set with Rune serving at 40/15 when the Dutchman retired due to an aching chest. Both eighth-seeded van de Zandschulp and wild card Rune had reached their maiden tour-level final on debut at the ATP 250 event in Germany.

“This was probably the worst way to win a final,” said Rune after the match. “I was obviously expecting a very tough match and he came out very strong. I just wish him all the best, a speedy recovery, and we all just hope to see him back on the court very soon.”

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The run to the title caps a memorable week for Rune, who turned 19 on Friday. With the win, the Dane becomes the third-youngest Munich champion in the Open Era, and the fifth first-time winner on the ATP Tour in 2022. He notched a maiden Top 10 victory against World No. 3 Alexander Zverev in the second round, also seeing off Jiri Lehecka, Emil Ruusuvuori and Oscar Otte in straight sets on his way to the title.

“I’m super happy, of course,” added Rune. “As I said, not the way I want it to end, but if I look through the week, what a week. I played some unbelievable tennis, really fighting my way through it. To be playing here in Munich and winning my first ATP title in front of such a brilliant crowd, I couldn’t really ask for more.”

Van de Zandschulp was also positive about what he had achieved on his maiden appearance in Munich, despite the disappointing end.

“I think I showed a good level, some good wins here," said the Dutchman, who knocked out second seed Casper Ruud and the in-form Miomir Kecmanovic on his way to the championship match. "I hope to back that up a little bit in the next couple of weeks and keep the same level, but first of all get physically ready for the next tournament.

“I started pretty well in the beginning, the first five games, then it changed for me. It was tough for me to play long rallies and keep the level I had in the first five games. I thought it was getting better after the treatment, but unfortunately I had to retire from the match.”

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