Holger Rune after qualifying for the Bercy final: “I have to put as much pressure as possible”

Home » Holger Rune after qualifying for the Bercy final: “I have to put as much pressure as possible”
Holger Rune after qualifying for the Bercy final: “I have to put as much pressure as possible”

“You have clearly mastered Félix Auger-Aliassime, for your very first Masters 1000 semi-final. How do you explain it?
Last week I lost in two sets against Félix, in the final in Basel (6-3, 7-5), this time I won in two sets, I learned things from the match before. I think I knew how to be more intense, hit the ball more cleanly, take time away from it. I could take the ball super early today. I managed to stick to the game plan from start to finish and it worked.

This game plan is due to a permanent aggressiveness, in particular?
I have to put as much pressure on my opponent as possible, in every game, because I know that if I don’t do it first and let them have the initiative, then I will find myself attacked and I would probably end up bowing.

You are in the final for the fourth time in four tournaments. Your co-coach Patrick Mouratoglou believes that one of the changes that may explain your recent successes is the superior calm you show on the court. How do you work on this aspect?
I work it like my serve, my forehand or my backhand. Every aspect you can improve on, whether mental, physical or technical, makes you better every day and it is my intention to do so on every little thing of my game. Every day, on the court, on the stretch , on recovery, etc. That’s what will make the difference. The mind is of course part of the journey, and I’m happy to see it moving forward.

“Within two or three centimeters, I disappeared from the start”

On Sunday, you will play your first Masters 1000 final. Can it cause tension for you?
There’s always a bit more nerves in a final, because you’re so close to winning and it can affect you. You have to play this game like any other, even if that’s easier said than done. It will necessarily be super tough and I will just have to play my game, because it’s the best way for me to give myself the best chance of winning.

How do you view your tournament, especially since you almost lost in your first match against Stan Wawrinka (4-6, 7-5, 7-6)?
(smile) It’s true, I was almost out. Three match points against me (two at 4-6, 4-5, one at 5-6 in the third set)… And I talked about it with my coach: within two or three centimeters, I disappeared from the start. On a forehand, my ball barely went over the net… But it’s often like that. You come very close to losing and then you go far down the board. I was able to stay in the present moment and I’m super happy to have improved after the lap. Let’s hope I get to the end now…”

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