French Open: Holger Rune Emerges From the Dungeons - UBITENNIS
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French Open: Holger Rune Emerges From the Dungeons



Holger Rune - Montecarlo 2024 (X @atptour)

After busting a two set lead and trailing 0-5 in the super tiebreak the “bad boy” of the tour delves into his talent to survive

Seldom had we seen Holger Rune play such a straightforward and disciplined tennis, as he did tonight in the first set against Flavio Cobolli, one of the emerging Italian young guns. Accurately aggressive, craftily varying his serve, tactically impeccable when steering the rallies toward the Italian’s softest shot, his backhand, Rune secured the earliest break in the first game and was never to drop his lead, pocketing the first set 6-4.

Comolli raised his game in the second set and started hitting winners off his forehand. Yet it wasn’t enough to pose a real threat. The Dane went on harvesting points with his serve, as well as eliciting errors off his opponent’s left wing. Indeed Comolli surrendered the second set with another sprayed backhand.

The May showers of Paris can play many a trick, and after a one-hour interruption it is a transformed and gutsy Flavio Cobolli who emerges from the locker-room. Suddenly he is able to put pressure and move Rune from side to side, entice him forward, then hit past him. He breaks in the third game and holds it tight, saving five break points in the eighth game displaying deft net skills and rushing off to get yet a second break and the set, 6-3.

When Rune broke in the fifth game of the fourth set, the match seemed about to go his way, but Cobolli bounced back immediately, snatching the break back with a forehand winner. Rune’s confidence was cracked, and suddenly started pouring in unforced errors, as it has often happaned throgout this season. He lost service again and Comolli went on to secure a second 63.   

The decider cruised along with both players holding serve. Rune earned a break point by lifting a spectacular lob after chasing down a ball which Cobolli had dropped close to the net. The Italian pummelled a forehand down the line to save it and dashed to a 0-40 lead on Rune’s serve in the nineth game. It could have been the turning point of the match, but Rune came up with his very best. Mixing up angled and deep pressuring groundstrokes with sudden variations of pace, throwing in some serve and volley, he ended up holding serve.

In terms of quality the match was on fire. Cobolli was sublimely hitting winners with his backhand as well. He soared to a 5-0 lead in the super tiebreak and seemed unstoppable. Then he served a vicious kick serve out wide. Rune lunged forward and pounced on it, firing a winning backhand return down the line. “Stunning shot, how did he make that?” one could cry from the commentary box. Cobolli still rose to 6-2, but it was a last fling. Suddenly he was missing or overhitting his groundstrokes, while Rune was delivering as metronomically as the early stages of the match. A few minutes and Rune turned it all round with an 8-1 winning streak. 10-7 the final score of a memorable super tiebreak.

Sometimes such wins in the first rounds of majors are the prelude to even greater feats. Will Holger Rune live up to such stories?


Wrist Injury Threatening To End Holger Rune’s Olympic Dream



Holger Rune will have a second medical opinion on Monday before deciding if he is fit enough to play at the Olympic Games, according to his team. 

The Danish world No.17 recently retired from his quarter-final match at the Hamburg Open due to a knee injury. The hope at the time was that his withdrawal would be just a precautionary measure ahead of the Olympics. However, he is also dealing with a second issue that appears to be more serious.

According to TV 2 Sport, Rune has been struggling with a wrist issue and underwent a scan on Sunday which his mother Aneke says ‘doesn’t look promising.’ Aneke is also the manager of her son’s career. Rune’s Olympic dreams now rest on the outcome of a second medical expert that he will visit tomorrow who has a better understanding of the sport. 

“Unfortunately, it does not look promising after the first medical opinion after the review of the scan of the wrist,” Aneke Rune told TV 2 Sport.

“We are waiting for two tennis-specific doctors who will give a second opinion tomorrow (Monday). Tennis wrists look different from regular wrists, so we’ll hold out hope for one more day.” 

Rune is one of three Danish players entered into the Olympic tennis event along with Caroline Wozniacki and Clara Tauson. The country has only won one medal in tennis before which was at the 1912 Games when Sofie Castenschiold won silver in the women’s indoor singles event. 

So far this season, the 21-year-old has won 27 matches on the Tour but is yet to claim a title. He reached the final of the Brisbane International and then the semi-finals of three more events. In the Grand Slams, he made it to the fourth round of the French Open and Wimbledon. 

It is not known when a final decision regarding Rune’s participation in Paris will be made.

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Hubert Hurkacz Undergoes ‘Knee Procedure’ Ahead of Olympic Bid



Poland’s top player on the ATP Tour is not giving up on his dream of winning a medal at the Olympic Games despite recently undergoing a medical procedure.

World No.7 Hubert Hurkacz suffered a knee injury during his second round clash at Wimbledon against France’s Arthur Fils. In the fourth set tiebreak of their clash, Hurkacz dived for a shot but landed badly on his knee and required on-court medical attention. He then played two more points before retiring from the match. 

In a social media post published on Wednesday, the  27-year-old confirmed he underwent a procedure on his knee earlier this week but didn’t provide any further details.  Although Hurkacz has stated his intention to play at the upcoming Olympic Games in Paris, where the tennis event will be held on the clay at Roland Garros. 

“I had a knee procedure this Monday, but I’m feeling better already and my team and are dedicating extensive time each day to the rehab process.” He wrote on Instagram. 

“It’s a dream for every athlete to represent their country at the Olympics, and I want to make sure I am fully fit and ready before making the final decision to step on court. The aim is not only to participate, but to win a medal for my country.”

So far this season Hurkacz has won 34 out of 48 matches played on the Tour. He won the Estoril Open in April and was runner-up to Jannik Sinner in Halle. 

The Olympic tennis event is scheduled to begin a week Saturday on July 27th. Poland is yet to win a medal in the event but expectations are high with women’s No.1 Iga Swiatek also taking part. 

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Krejcikova Comes Alive With Her Serve To Win 12th Grand Slam Title At Wimbledon



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It must have seemed like the whole world was against her when Barbora Krejcikova served for the match for a third time against crowd favorite Jasmine Paolini.

But Krejcikova was only going for her 12th Grand Slam title. She was well prepared.

So, she released her patented way-out-wide serve to the smallish Paolini’s backhand, and the best the Italian could do was get her racket on the ball enough to return the serve far off the court, long and wide.


The weight of the world was gone as Krejcikova threw her arms over her head and calmly walked to the net to greet the Wimbledon runner-up.

Now, Krejcikova was half-way home to a career Grand Slam in singles. She already owns a career Grand Slam in doubles among her dozen Grand Slam titles that also include one mixed doubles Grand Slam title.

She has won the hard ones, the French Open on clay and Wimbledon on grass.

At 28 years old, anything must look possible to this 5-10 Czech.


Paolini simply was out played in a second straight Grand Slam final, on clay and on grass. Now she faces the real tests, two straight Grand Slam tournaments on hard surfaces that might not be overly friendly to the 5-4 Paolini.

But there it was, a 6-2, 2-6, 6-4 victory for Krejcikova on Wimbledon’s famed Center Court.

After what might be called a throw-away second set for Krejcikova, she came alive in the third set, pinning Paolini to the deep corners while nailing low hard-hit balls to both corners.

Krejcikova got off to 40-0 starts on her first four service games of the decisive set and ended all four with service winners to take a 5-3 lead (with the aid of the only service break of the third set). She yielded only one point in those four service games, a double fault at 40-0 that was followed by an ace.

Of course, it was the serve again that saved the day for Krejcikova and gave her set points two and three, then sealed the deal for a spot in Wimbledon history.

James Beck was the 2003 winner of the USTA National Media Award  for print media. A 1995 MBA graduate of The Citadel, he can be reached at 

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