“Holger Rune will have his first Masters 1000 semi-final…
This is obviously an important milestone. The Masters 1000 is where we want to shine. That was the talk all week. Holger had shown in recent weeks that he was capable of playing very well, but he also had to show that he was also capable of being part of the group of the best players in the world. With victories over Wawrinka and three top 10s (Hurkacz, Rublev, Alcaraz)he showed that he deserved it, his place.
It has several very special things. Champions have this ability to be very strong in important moments, to feel up to it all the time. Believing in it so much changes a lot of things. He has a monstrous desire, it shows… He has a hell of a character. Ever since he was little, he’s known he’s going to be a tennis champion, that’s all he thinks about. He is completely inhabited by this sport. When he’s not playing, he watches tennis videos all day. He has a strong belief in his ability to succeed. He is a passionate person who believes in himself.
What has changed in a month?
Surely something… He’s much more structured, calmer, more in control of his emotions. He had been fighting this for a while. It’s important because when emotion takes over, it’s not easy to make the right choices. Panic took hold of him fairly quickly. He also takes things into his own hands a lot more. He went from aggressive to passive a lot in matches. Overall, it’s now much more stable. After his good Roland-Garros (quarterfinal, defeated by Casper Ruud), he had lost a lot in the first round in the tournaments that followed, he went through a difficult period but he understood what happened to use it for the future. There, he really turned a corner.
What is its room for improvement?
With an Alcaraz world number 1, we pay less attention to him. But if Alcaraz weren’t there, with a 19-year-old player performing like that, everyone would say: “Wow, that’s amazing!” That said, good for him, maybe, because there is less pressure on him. It has a very important margin of progression. Yes, he has an incredible level, but there are a lot of areas of play where he can improve enormously. It’s very positive.
This match against Alcaraz was special, right?
Sure. First, he plays a world number 1, and he beats him. With Carlos, they have known each other since they were kids and Carlos rode faster than him. So obviously it makes a lot of sense for Holger to beat him today (Friday). It is enormous. It’s a match he was waiting for to be able to measure himself.
The hug between Holger Rune and Carlos Alcaraz after the abandonment of the Spaniard on Friday. (P. Lahalle/The Team)
We have the impression that the advent of Alcaraz has helped all the young people of this generation, with Musetti, too…
Yes it plays. With the fact of seeing one coming up and beating all the best, they think they can do it too. Carlos gave a dynamic to this whole generation. She is exciting, many of them play very well with different personalities and different games. And they all believe it. So it’s good. »