Holger Rune loses much more than a match against Jannik Sinner

Rune bounced out of the Monte-Carlo Open in the quarterfinals.

Holger Rune had a rough week at the Monte-Carlo Open even while winning a few matches. The Dane lost to Jannik Sinner in the quarterfinals of the Masters 1000 event in three sets. But Rune continued to have his ugly moments, including an unsportsmanlike conduct warning. This was the second time during the week that Rune appeared to show brattish behavior.

Maybe that is Rune’s niche now as well. He is only 20 years old and clearly has the physical skills to be a very successful tennis player, yet whatever is happening in his head at times is a mystery. He burns through coaches, including Boris Becker earlier this year, which seems to be another sign of his immaturity. Again, Rune is only 20.

He certainly did not come across well in the most recent season of Netflix’s Break Point as either his mother was in total control of his career and he secretly hated it, or he simply refused to listen to the advice being given him. If that is life advice, fine. If he is refusing advice from coaches, that is something different.

Holger Rune might be just what tennis does not need

Against Sinner, and while serving at 5-all in the second set and down love-30, Rune received a time warning for delaying his serve. He seemed to understand this from the chair umpire. The problem occurred when the fans began to jeer him and he clearly motioned for the fans to be quiet. He is not Novak Djokovic so having a rapport with the crowd isn’t something he is ready for; he just needs to focus on the match.

After Rune made his gesture to the crowd, the chair umpire issued the Dane a code violation for unsportsmanlike conduct. To this, Rune had an issue. He told the umpire he could not get a warning for his behavior and asked the umpire to call his supervisor. The supervisor did arrive and would not change the violation and Rune cooled. The Dane even went on to win the set before losing the match.

Losing the match is going to hurt, however. Because of his success early in 2023, including losing in the final of the Monte-Carlo Open, Rune is going to have a huge drop in the ATP rankings next week. He will drop out of the top 10, in fact. He also has no easy path to getting back inside the top ten until well into the summer.

Rune, however, could be developing into the kind of old-school player that tennis fans either extremely dislike or, to a smaller degree, root against. He appears arrogant without the level of success to earn that. Maybe he becomes the next John McEnroe and behaves poorly while winning and gets the notice of non-tennis fans. Or his behavior and unwillingness to listen with thwart his attempts to become great.

Leave a Comment