Rune: “I’m very competitive. But off the pitch I’m not presumptuous.”
Holger Rune in Monte Carlo
Italian enthusiasts are still eyeing the tough fight in Monte Carlo between Jannik Sinner and Holger Rune. A semi-final in which the Dane managed to overcome the disadvantage of a first set dominated by the Blues and shake things up thanks to a strong reaction against the crowd turned almost entirely against him. “Gasoline to feed my tennis,” said Gentofte’s class of 2003 hotly, before being beaten by Andrey Rublev in the title fight.
Rune gave a long interview to his colleague Jannik Schneider for tennis majors, in which he focused precisely on that game and his attitude on the pitch. Holger says he’s willing to use a hostile audience’s energy to reverse negative situations, but in reality he believes he’s a very calm guy on a day-to-day basis, unlike what he shows in the game. Here are some passages from the interview.
“When you meet a local and (Jannik) Sinner has a lot of fans there, it’s pretty tough. No matter what you do, they will be screaming for him. Either you accept it and you will find yourself in a difficult situation or you fight it. I lost the first set 6-1 and I was like, ‘Oh my god, I can’t go on like this’. I had to find a solution to get back in the game. And through that energy, I found it, I really found it,” says Rune. “In the match against Sinner I used some negative emotions as fuel and was able to play much better. In most cases, I’d say I play better when I’m calm and showing positive emotions. But for games like this, when you’re not at your best, especially against good opponents like Sinner, you have to find a way. If you don’t, you will lose.”
Rune confirms he’s a huge fan of the James Bond films, but doesn’t compare to the character’s hubris: “Yeah, I’ve been a fan for a while. It’s been a while since the last movie came out, but I still watch it from time to time. But I don’t think I’m arrogant. I’m a down to earth guy. I’m different on the pitch, I think it’s just because I put so much passion into what I do. I’m very competitive. But when I’m off the pitch, I’m not like that, I’m not pretentious.”
For the Dane, it’s positive that when a bit of “spice” comes into a match or at least the personality of the players comes out, it becomes more interesting for the spectators: “For the public and also to win new fans, it’s nice to be strong be personalities and games in which some contrasts appear. There’s more to it than just playing, fans admire the sport but so do the characters. If you can show that to a certain extent, then that’s good for the sport.”
Holger is among the players trying to personally answer fans via social media: “Yes, I still do. Of course it’s more difficult after long tournaments and when I have a lot to do. When I had the time I was more than happy to do it, it’s inspirational to answer your questions. I hope it continues like this.”