Holger banks world star
One of the toughest tasks of his career ended with a victory for Danish Holger Rune. Alexander Zverev – world number three – was defeated 6-3, 6-2

Holger Rune got off to a good start against Alexander Zverev. Photo: Denis Balibouse / Ritzau Scanpix.

Denmark’s best male tennis player Holger Rune delivered a heroic effort against the world number three on the red gravel in the ATP tournament on Wednesday afternoon in Munich.

In the 1/8 final against the first-seeded German and Olympic champion, Alexander Zverev, the 18-year-old Dane got off to an excellent start and punished the German’s beginner difficulties at Center Court, which was a battle scene that went on and on.

It ended with a Danish victory of 6-3, 6-2, and although the tournament in Munich is one of the lower ranked on the ATP Tour, it does not change that it is Rune’s biggest victory of his career and his first against a top- 10 players. The Dane himself is number 70 on the world rankings.

Come flying out
It was as if Zverev had got the wrong leg onto the pitch. Rune took the lead with 3-0 in the first set and it took about 20 minutes before his opponent came on the board.

The showdown was characterized by long duels, and Rune seemed sharpest technically with several backhand slices that left the German giving up. As the minutes progressed, the German ate his way into the match, but then Rune broke for the second time in the match and took the lead with 5-3.

Alexander Zverev was shaken. Photo: CHRISTOF STACHE / Ritzau Scanpix
Alexander Zverev was shaken. Photo: CHRISTOF STACHE / Ritzau Scanpix

The set ball pulled out, but the Dane managed to secure the first scalp first after the sixth set ball. Something of a surprise and a wild achievement by the young Rune.

The start of the second set looked like a slow rendition of the first. Rune took the lead with 2-0, but then Zverev came in and secured his first serve to make it 2-1.

And if you thought that Rune was about to lose concentration, then you should think again. The Dane was on his toes and with deep, heavy blows he took the lead with 5-1, before Zverev again started to give him a fight.

It became 5-2, but the Dane was strongest in the final phase and behaved top professionally and did not let himself be kissed by the pressure.

In the third round, Holger Rune will meet either Finnish Emil Ruusuvuori or American Maxime Cressy.

They are number 63 and 65 in the world, respectively.

By Editor

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