Former Junior World No.1 Holger Rune Under Investigation Over Homophobic Comments - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

ATP

Former Junior World No.1 Holger Rune Under Investigation Over Homophobic Comments

The 18-year-old has apologised for shouting remarks such as “allez, faggot” during his match and insists that he has nothing against the LGBT community. At the same time his mother has accused the media of trying to sensationalise the incident for their own gratification in a social media post which has now been deleted.

Published

on

Holder Rune image via https://twitter.com/ATPChallenger)

The ATP has launched an official investigation into comments made by a former junior world No.1 during a Challenger tournament in Italy.

Rising star Holger Rune is accused of making homophobic comments during his semi-final clash against Tomas Martin Etcheverry at the Biella Open on Saturday. In a video uploaded on social media, the Dane was caught saying in his native language ‘you are a pussy player’ and ‘you are playing like a faggot ass.’ Shortly after saying those phrases, he shouted ‘Allez, faggot’ when winning a point.

The comments from the youngster prompted backlash on social media with many fans criticising him for his choice of words. On his official Instagram account, Rune stated that his words were directed at himself and nobody else.

source – https://www.instagram.com/holgerrune

Amid the controversy, Rune issued a statement to TV2.dk where he apologised for the remarks and to anybody who he might have offended by his words. He also apologised on his Instagram account.

“I’m young and I need to learn. Not that that allows me to say crap like that. I was taught a lesson, and I think it’s fair that people criticise (me). I’m really sorry and hope people will accept my apology,” he said.

However, on the same day as Rune issued his statement his mother accused TV2 of ‘harassing’ her son for what she described as a ‘wrong comment.’ Aneke Rune, who is also the manager of the tennis player, hit out at those who she claims are trying to ‘make news and gossip from a hard working young man.’

If you are a man you can apologise as Holger did if anyone felt offended by his words to himself in the match. Do NOT harass Holger for a wrong comment TV2 and who else is out there trying to make news and gossip from a hard working young man,” Aneke wrote on Instagram.

The post published by Rune’s manager has since been deleted but one of those backing her was Patrick Mouratoglou who wrote ‘very well said Haneke, ignore them.’ Rune trains at Mouratoglou’s academy in France.

In a statement issued to TV2 on Monday, the ATP has confirmed that they are investigating the incident under the official code of conduct (section 8.04).

“ATP is committed to ensuring an inclusive environment for all players, staff and fans, and there is absolutely no room for homophobic remarks in tennis,” a statement reads.
“According to section 8.04 N.2 of the Player Code of Conduct, ATP is in the process of investigating the comments of Holger Rune during a match on Saturday 5 June 2021 in ATP Challenger 80 in Biella.”

source – https://www.instagram.com/holgerrune

Reacting to the latest development, Aneke says she doesn’t believe any further action will be taken. Pointing that Rune had already spoken with the ATP and has previously never been in trouble.

Holger has spoken to ATP during the tournament, and since Holger has not been registered for any offenses with ATP of any kind, I can not imagine that further action is taken in a case where Holger on two points shouts wrong words to himself. In addition to a warning that probably should have come during the match, ” she said.
“Holger has publicly apologized for his words both to TV2 and on his Instagram. We must remember that we are not talking about a player here with a history of either insults or other intimidating behaviour towards either opponents, referees, ball children etc.

Christian Bigom is the chairman of Pan Idræt, a multi-sports club in Copenhagen which focuses on ‘inclusion of people with a special focus on sexual orientation and gender diversity.’ Speaking about Rune’s comments Bigom argues the focus shouldn’t be on the individual but why these phrases are being used in the first place.

“I think it’s fine that Holger Rune has said sorry. That is really good,” he said.
“I would rather ask a question about why it is these words that are used. To me, it testifies to a very negative language used in the world of sports. Not only in tennis, but certainly also in football.”

18-year-old Rune is currently ranked 291st in the world. He claimed the French Open boys’ title in 2019 and recently won his maiden Challenger title in Biella on Sunday.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

ATP

Brazilian Rising Star Joao Fonseca Waives College Eligibility To Turn Pro

Published

on

Image via https://twitter.com/RioOpenOficial/

One of Brazil’s most promising young tennis players has made the bold decision to abandon a dream of his to play college tennis in America to turn pro. 

17-year-old Jaoao Fonseca was committed to playing college tennis at the University of Virginia but says professional tennis has called him in a way he couldn’t refuse. The rising star has played just two Tour-level events so far in his career and is currently ranked 343rd in the world. 

At last week’s Rio Open, he became the second-youngest player after Alexander Zverev to reach the quarter-finals of an ATP 500 event since the category was introduced. In his home tournament, the Brazillian beat Arthur Fils and Cristian Garin before losing to Mariano Navone.

“It was an incredibly tough decision for me and my family as I have been dreaming about living a college life in Charlottesville, playing the sport that l love with a wonderful team and coach, but, in the last months, professional tennis called me in a way that I simply couldn’t say no,” Fonseca wrote in a statement published on Instagram
“Although I will not be attending school, I think it is an extremely valuable and viable path for young players in their way to professional careers,” he added.

Fonseca has already enjoyed success on the junior circuit. Last year he was runner-up in the doubles tournament at the Australian Open boy’s event. Then at the US Open, he won his first Grand Slam junior title in singles. He is also a former ITF Junior World No.1 and is currently ranked second in the standings. 

The youngster has already been hailed by compatriot Beatriz Haddad Maia, who is currently ranked 13th on the WTA Tour. Speaking to reporters at the San Diego Open, she has offered her support to Fonseca if he needs it. 

“João is a nice person. He has a great future, if he keeps working hard and keeps doing what he’s doing. I think he has a very aggressive mentality and tennis.” She said.

“We sometimes text each other, but not that much. But I’m always following.. not only him.. but the Brazilians. I’m proud of what he’s doing. He has a long way and he needs to understand that it’s a marathon, it’s not a 100 meter race.’
“Tennis has its ups and downs. I wish him all the best, for sure. I’ll be here whenever he wants. I’m happy with what he’s doing.” 

Fonseca played at the Chile Open this week but lost in the first round to Thiago Agustin Tirante.

Continue Reading

ATP

Injured Alcaraz Pulls Out of Rio Open After Two Games

A sprained ankle a couple of minutes into his debut at the Rio Open forced top seed Carlos Alcaraz to abandon his match against Thiago Monteiro

Published

on

Carlos Alcaraz after the injury - Rio 2024 (photo Tennis TV)

For world no. 2 Carlos Alcaraz, this year’s Rio Open lasted two games: the Spanish champion had to retire on the score of 1-1 in the first set during his first-round match against Brazilian Thiago Monteiro due to a sprained right ankle suffered in the second point of the match.

In an accident somewhat reminiscent of the terrible one suffered by Zverev in the semi-final of Roland Garros 2022, Alcaraz’s right foot “got stuck”  in the clay as he returned towards the center of the court after returning from the left, and he immediately flew to the ground dropping his racket. The Spaniard immediately asked for a medical time-out, but as soon as he took off his shoe it was immediately clear that his ankle had already swollen.

After having a tight bandage applied, Alcaraz tried to continue the match, but just two games later he understood that it was not possible to continue so he shook hands with his opponent, abandoning the Brazilian tournament.

The match was played on a very heavy court due to the rain that had fallen heavily during the day. The organizers had been forced to cancel the daytime session and play could only begin around 7.30 pm local time, after the courts had remained under pouring water all day.

Alcaraz told the press present in Rio: “I think these things happen, especially on clay. It wasn’t a problem with the court, I hurt myself in a change of direction and this happens on this type of surface. I went back into the match to see if I could continue or not. I spoke to the physiotherapist on the court and we decided, together, that I would continue to see if the ankle would improve. It didn’t happen, so we preferred to be cautious and withdraw as a precaution.”

Considering that Alcaraz left the court on his own two feet and managed to wobble through a couple of games after the injury, it is quite likely that the injury he suffered is much less serious than the one that kept Alexander Zverev away from tournaments for over seven months. However, it will be necessary to verify whether it is just a sprain or whether tendons or ligaments have been involved. If this were to be the case, the prognosis could turn out to be longer, and this is happening less than two weeks before the start of the Sunshine Double in Indian Wells and Miami.

The Spaniard is scheduled to play an exhibition in Las Vegas on 3rd March against Rafael Nadal: it will be decided in the next few days whether to withdraw as a precaution for the first Masters 1000 of the season in Indian Wells.

Continue Reading

ATP

Can Jannik Sinner dodge the morning-after syndrome?

Very few players have managed to follow up their first triumph in a Major. Hewitt is the last new Grand Slam champion to immediately win an ATP title. Nadal, Djokovic and Federer all misfired, can Jannik Sinner do better?

Published

on

Jannik Sinner - Australian Open 2024 (photo: X @federtennis)

By Roman Bongiorno

“The morning-after syndrome,” as they call it. The list of great champions who have suffered from it – Carlos Alcaraz, Juan Martin del Potro, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Stan Wawrinka, Andy Murray, is impressive.  Some of the most illustrious names in our sport, the most successful ever. Yet, even for those who are legends, the match immediately after their first Grand Slam triumph is often an insurmountable hurdle.

The very young Spanish phenomenon, born in 2003, was the latest striking example. After winning the 2022 US Open and becoming the new world No. 1, Alcaraz managed to win just one set in his next two matches: he lost 6-7 6-4 6-2 in the Davis Cup against Felix Auger Aliassime, who was definitely on fire in that period, and was inflicted a 7-5 6-3 defeat by veteran David Goffin in his first match at the ATP 500 in Astana.

Mentally, it’ not easy. The most important triumph of one’s life, immediately to be put aside.  And go back to work. The media are quick to pounce on any slip, headlines hinting at signs of a career already over: “it’s gone to his head”, “he has made his money” etc.

Less than a year later, Carlos Alcaraz was once more a Grand Slam champion, beating Novak Djokovic in the final at Wimbledon.

Just think of tennis legends such as Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, who fell victims to this serious syndrome. The former, after his triumph at Roland Garros 2005, stepped back on court on the green grass of Halle, losing in 3 sets to the world number 147 German Alexander Waske: 4-6 7-5 6-3. For many, that was a disastrous defeat foreshadowing a future that would not be as bright as it had seemed. Rafa told another story, by winning another 21 Grand Slam titles, on every surface.

The Serbian, on the other hand, thrived on the hard courts of Melbourne, just like Jannik Sinner. In 2008, after winning the title, he was engaged in Davis Cup against Russia. He did not finish his rubber against Nikolay Davydenko and retired at the beginning of the fourth set while trailing 2 sets to 1. In his first ATP tour appearance, in Marseille, after brushing aside Ivan Dodig, he was ousted in three sets by Gilles Simon. Over the following 15 years Novak Djokovic went on to become the has become the most successful player ever.

What about Roger Federer? After lifting the trophy won at Wimbledon in 2003, he moved to the home clay of Gstaad.  He survived the morning-after syndrome  after a fierce but victorious struggle in the first round with the Spaniard Marc Lopez, ranked No.190. Then he cruised till the final, but was defeated in a five set hustle 5-7 6-3 6-3 1-6 6-3 by Jiri Novak.

The morning-after did not spare Juan Martin del Potro. After his stunning victory over Federer at the 2009 US Open, he set foot on an ATP tennis court three weeks later in Tokyo. It was Edouard Roger Vassellin, 189th in the world, who spoiled the party, neatly defeating the Argentinian in two sets, 64 64.

Even “Ice man” Bjorn Borg, the man without (apparent) emotions, focused only on tennis and winning, lost the first match after his success at Roland Garros 1974. He was defeated in the first round in Nottingham by world No. 71 Milan Holecek from Czechoslovakia. Over the next years he definitely made up for that impasse on English lawns.

A rare bird at last, and not by chance does it come from Australia, a land which is ever so rich in unique species. Lleyton Hewitt, who in 2001 after steamrolling Pete Sampras in the US Open final, immediately won his next matches, two singles rubbers in the Davis Cup against Jonas Bjorkman and Thomas Johansson, and then went on to win in Tokyo by beating Michel Kratochvil in the final.

Jannik Sinner has been building up his success on gruelling feats. Sure he’s eager to be back on the Dutch indoor courts of Rotterdam where he enjoyed a brilliant run last year, only surrendering to Danil Medvedev in the final. Just one year ago the Russian seemed an impossible opponent to defeat. Now, in the last 4 challenges, Jannik has beaten him 4 times. The last one, in the final of the Australian Open.

Rotterdam could have been the stage for a rematch, but Medvedev has pulled out of the tournament. Jannik Sinner appears as a favourite, and is vying to close in on that third place of the rankings currently held by Daniil.

Jannik has set out on his mission. But even if he were to be defeated in the first round by an opponent ranked beyond the top 200, no one should dare cry failure. Italy at last has a Grand Slam winner, and he is not to be downplay him in case of first defeats.

Translated by Kingsley Elliot Kaye

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending