MUNICH, September 1, 2020 (by Dietmar Kaspar)
Usually when you meet a tennis professional, who has already competed at the greatest venues of the world but is currently ranked World No. 821 and playing on the ITF World Tennis Tour, the mood for an interview will not be the best. However, talking to Holger Vitus Nodskov Rune at the GM-Comites Open 2020 in Anif, Austria, is a different story. We met a cheerful teenager, who has a bright future ahead.
The 17-year-old Dane played all four Junior Grand Slam tournaments in 2019 crowned by winning the French Open at Roland Garros as well as the ITF Junior Masters in Chengdu, China. Now the time has come to advance to senior’s level. Rune has already entered six ATP Challenger Tour tournaments and the qualifying event of the ATP 250 ASP Classic 2020 in Auckland, New Zealand by wild card. His daily business for the moment, however, is the ITF World Tennis Tour.
Tennis Tourtalk: There was a long break of international tournaments due to the outbreak of COVID-19. How did you spend this time?
Holger Rune: I was practising all the time at my home base in the north of Copenhagen and played a couple of matches at national prize money tournaments in Denmark. It has been good for me to come back to the tour. Especially the tournament in Vogau last week was very good for me reaching the semi-finals of a 25k-event. This week in Anif I felt really good, but I did not play my best tennis. I know it is a long journey and I have to keep this spirit.
What do you think about the organization of the tournament here in Anif?
The tournament here is very fine. I think it is one of the good Futures. I have been to other places, which are not so good. The club is very nice and the courts are very good. The organization is perfect and the people are very friendly as it was last week in Vogau, too. I am enjoying my time here.
What do think about the safety measures here due to COVID-19?
Last week in Vogau, the organization was perfect in this case. The audience was completely kept kept away from the players. Here in Anif it is a little bit difficult, but there are signs and barrier tapes everywhere to save the players. I think with such measures in place, the tour could have started earlier.
What is the main difference for you between playing top junior events like the Grand Slam tournaments and the ITF World Tennis Tour at senior’s level?
The players on the Pro Circuit are physically very strong. They play more balls into the court while juniors are missing them. It is almost a different game, but it is still tennis, only harder.
When you started playing tennis as a kid, when did you realize that you are better than others and had the dream of becoming a professional player?
Already at the beginning at the age of six, I was very passionate about it. I always practiced hard and had big dreams.
Did you have any tennis idols in your childhood?
My favouite is still Roger Federer. I also like the young guys like Stefanos Tsitsipas, but I will focus on myself to get a good player on my own.
What will be your next tournaments? Will you stay on the Pro Circuit or will you compete at more Junior Grand Slams?
I finished the junior‘s level and will only compete at men’s tournaments. Hopefully I can climb up the ATP rankings to play some Challengers at the end of the year. But now I am focused on the Futures and try to get through them.
Thanks for the interview and all the best for the future.
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