Holger Rune - Miami Open 2023

Holger Rune ‘developing a reputation’ claims John McEnroe

Holger Rune has had a meteoric rise up the ATP rankings over the past 12 months, but most of the talk surrounding him in Madrid has been about his behaviour on court, to which John McEnroe warned could end up with the Dane ‘living a very lonely existence’.

Rune came into the Madrid Open coming off the back of retaining his title in Munich, but could not find the same form in the Spanish capital succumbing to a third round defeat to Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.

However, most of the talk was not about the result of this match and more about how Rune was heavily booed by the Madrid crowd after he removed a ball mark that his opponent was disputing with the umpire.

The umpire, Carlos Bernardes, then had a word with the Dane at the change of ends, “I’m going to tell you one thing and that’s it for the whole match.”

“I told you once in Monte Carlo, but that was fine. There are crowds that you cannot control if you do things like that. They will be worse if you keep doing it. If you just play tennis, they don’t do anything else.”

Rune responded: “I didn’t do anything. Did I complain to you one time?”

McEnroe, who was not short of a controversy of his own, had his say on the teenagers ‘reputation’, “I’ve said this before, I’ll say it again, it’s hard to be a total a****** and be on the tennis tour, okay? It’s possible to do it, but you end up living a very lonely existence.”

The former No.1 continued, “He likes to ham it up, he likes to engage the crowd, but he does it in a way that kind of irritates his opponents at times. Certainly, he irritates the crowd. So what’s happening is, he’s developing a reputation.”

Despite questioning Rune’s behaviour on court at times, McEnroe explained that he does believe the Dane can ‘do damage’ at Roland Garros where he reached the quarter-final last year.

“I think Rune will come around. I do think he’s a threat to do some serious damage at the French [Open this year]. The guy is a tremendous talent, brings a ton of energy to the court,” said McEnroe.

He continued, “I think he’s capable of winning majors. This year, probably not. He still to me is a little bit up and down in the course of matches, but we’ve seen him play great and big matches.”

Holger Rune at major tournaments 

While Rune is now becoming an established top 10 player on the ATP tour, the 19-year-old has only played in six Grand Slam tournaments.

McEnroe claims that he is ‘capable of winning majors’, and here is how he has done at the showpiece tennis events so far:

Overall Grand Slam win-loss record: 8-6 (57%)

Australian Open win-loss record: 3-2 (60%)

Best result: Fourth Round (2023)

Roland Garros win-loss record: 4-1 (80%)

Best result: Quarter-final (2022)

Wimbledon win-loss record: 0-1 (0%)

Best result: First Round (2022)

US Open win-loss record: 1-2 (33%)

Best result: Third Round (2022)

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Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.