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Holger Rune – 2023 Season Review

Holger Rune Australian Open

After a breakthrough 2022 season, Holger Rune had a lot to prove during his sophomore season on the ATP Tour. Despite some disappointing results in big tournaments, it was a successful season for the Dane. Rune made his debut in the ATP Finals, in addition to producing two Grand Slam quarterfinal appearances, two Masters 1000 finals, and an ATP 250 title in Germany.  Read below for a recap of Rune’s 2023 season on the ATP Tour.

Holger Rune Season Review 2023

Early Season

One of Rune’s issues throughout the 2023 season was his tendency to lose tight matches. This occurred at the Australian Open, where he lost in a thrilling fifth-set tiebreaker to Andrey Rublev in the fourth round. Weeks later, he lost in another final set tiebreak to Maxime Cressy, this time in the semifinal of the Open Sud De France. Rune was able to make the semi-final of Acapulco but lost to Alex De Minaur in three sets.

The Sunshine Double was one of the low points of Rune’s season. He fell to Stan Wawrinka in a heated battle in Indian Wells, losing in another third-set tiebreaker. In the end, the match was arguably most remembered for Rune’s controversial comments at the net. In Miami, Taylor Fritz took out Rune in the fourth round.

Mid Season

Rune was able to turn his season around on the clay. In Monte Carlo, he battled against a crowd-backed Jannik Sinner in the semifinals. After defeating Sinner 1-6 7-5 7-5 to move into the final, he lost a heartbreaking final to Andrey Rublev, his second loss to Rublev on the season. A tough pill to swallow after being notably up a break in the third set.

Days after his Monte Carlo loss, Rune began another tournament at the Bavarian International in Munich. As the top seed, he reached the final without dropping a set. Eventually, he clinched his only title of the 2023 season, defeating Botic van de Zandschulp 6-4 1-6 7-6 (3). Rune fought back from a double break in the final set, saving championship points, and hitting some stunning shots in the process.

After breaking the final-set tiebreak curse in Munich, he lost another final-set tiebreak in the third round of Madrid, this time to Alejandro Davidovich Fokina. A week later, Rune claimed one of his biggest career wins over Novak Djokovic in Rome. After taking the Serb out 6-2 4-6 6-2, Rune then defeated arch-rival Casper Ruud in the semifinal. Ultimately, he lost to Daniil Medvedev in two tight sets in the final.

Rune then reached his second Grand Slam quarterfinal at the French Open, winning in a thrilling fifth-set tiebreaker against Francisco Cerundolo. The Dane then lost in four sets to Casper Ruud in the quarterfinal, marking the second consecutive quarterfinal defeat to Ruud at that event.

Results were solid, yet unspectacular for Rune after the French Open. After a semifinal loss at the ATP 500 event in Queens, Rune lost in the quarterfinals of Wimbledon to World No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz. Along the way, he avenged his Madrid loss to Davidovich Fokina, winning yet another fifth-set tiebreaker. This result helped Rune climb the rankings, as he would eventually reach his career-high ranking of No. 4 later in the summer.

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Late Season

Affected by a back injury, Rune suffered three consecutive losses during the hard-court season. This included a retirement against Mackenzie McDonald and a four-set defeat to Roberto Carballes Beana in the US Open first round. After that match, he split with then-coach Patrick Mouratoglou.

During the Asian Swing, Rune’s struggles continued with a shocking 0-6 2-6 loss to Brandon Nakashima in Shanghai. After another opening-round defeat to Miomir Kecmanović in Stockholm, Rune made a solid run to the semifinals of Basel. He lost to Felix-Auger Alliasime.

As the defending champion in Paris, Rune reached the quarterfinal without dropping a set. Despite a tough loss to Djokovic in the quarterfinals, Rune was able to claim the eighth and final spot in the ATP Finals. In Turin, Rune went 1-2 and could not progress past the group stage. His lone win was against an injured Stefanos Tsitsipas, who had to retire early in the first set.

Rune will certainly look to build on his Grand Slam quarterfinal appearances during 2024. It will also be interesting to see whether he can claim another Masters 1000 title, and continue to cement himself as a top contender for big titles on the ATP Tour.

Main Photo Credit: Mike Frey – USA TODAY Sports


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