Within the review of the best chapters that the 2023 season left us, there is this unforgettable moment. To remember it we have directly the protagonist himself.
Holger Rune had the added pressure of being the reigning champion of the BMW Open by American Express in Munich last April, but the Dane knew how to handle it. After three emphatic victories to advance his way into the final, he took the first set against Botic van de Zandschulp to remain just one set away from successfully defending his ATP Tour crown.
But the story would hold many twists, both literally and figuratively.
A year after Van de Zandschulp retired in the Munich final against Rune, the same match was revived in the last round of this ATP 250, in a rematch that exceeded expectations both for the quality of the tennis and for the drama. of the result.
“I knew that the final was going to be the toughest match of the tournament,” Rune acknowledged to ATP Uncovered, in statements prior to his debut at the Nitto ATP Finals. “Botic plays the best tennis he has in these types of tournaments, so he knew he had to be prepared. But he was confident.”
Rune showed up with clear ideas, but was “a little confused with the game plan” in the second set, where his opponent dominated. The Dane had to deal with physical problems in the final set, including a sprained ankle, but he continued to fight on the clay even though he felt he had “a three or four percent chance of winning.”
And it was 2-5 down in the third set and had to face two match points against in a match that was recognized within the ATPTour.com Best of 2023 series.
Review the full report to relive the match – and the dramatic last set – through Rune’s experience and discover how the physically exhausted Dane changed his tactics and mentality to end up turning the story around.
Read more chapters on the Best of 2023