Holger Rune - Closest thing tennis has to Novak Djokovic?

Holger Rune ‘happy to play without pain’ in first win since Wimbledon

Holger Rune has struggled for fitness in recent months, but revealed that he is ‘feeling healthy’ after winning his first match since reaching the quarter-finals of Wimbledon.

Rune beat Felix Auger-Aliassime, 6-4 6-4, in his first round match at the ATP 500 tournament in Beijing and spoke about how he was feeling physically following the victory.

“It feels very good. I had a tough period both with my body and with matches,” said Rune. “I’m happy to be back feeling good and feeling mentally well off the court. I’m super happy with my level today.”

The Dane had lost seven consecutive matches since achieving his best result at Wimbledon, but recently revealed that he had undergone treatment after pinching a nerve in the fifth lumbar vertebrae in his spine.

As he makes his debut on the ATP tour in China, Rune claims that he is now pain free after there were some concerns from fans.

“I didn’t feel any pain in my body,” said the 20-year-old. “I’m feeling healthy and taking care of my body. Mostly I’m happy to play without pain and enjoy myself.”

Rune has recently ended his coaching relationship with Patrick Mouratoglou and has now re-started working with childhood coach Lars Christensen.

And the world No.4 claims reuniting with Christensen has helped improve his confidence, “It has helped my confidence. After some tough periods, he knows me so well. He knows when I’m back at my best level so it is easy for us to communicate and find the best version of Holger. That we did today.”

Rune now moves onto the second round in the Chinese capital where he will play Grigor Dimitrov, who he in fact beat to reach his maiden quarter-final at SW19 this year.

Inside the baseline…

Rune revealing his injury woes gives justification for his uncharacteristic losses over the past couple of months. Despite beating Felix Auger-Aliassime, who has had a difficult year himself in terms of form, Rune still needs to prove that he can sustain fitness throughout a tournament and his next match against a more consistent Grigor Dimitrov will be a good indicator of that.

READ MORE: China Open 2023 Preview: When is it, who is playing and what is the prize money?

Holger Rune since Wimbledon

After beating Dimitrov to reach the quarter-final of Wimbledon, Rune has faced a torrid run of form that included seven consecutive defeats:

  1. Rune lost to Carlos Alcaraz, 6(3)-7 4-6 4-6 (Wimbledon Quarter-final)
  2. Rune lost to Leandro Riedi, 4-6 3-6 (Hopman Cup)
  3. Rune lost to Richard Gasquet, 2-6 3-6 (Hopman Cup)
  4. Rune lost to Marcos Giron, 2-6 6-4 3-6 (Canadian Open Second Round)
  5. Rune lost to Mackenzie McDonald, 4-6 0-2 (retired) (Cincinnati Masters Second Round)
  6. Rune lost to Roberto Carballes Baena, 3-6 6-4 3-6 2-6 (US Open First Round)
  7. Rune lost to Thiago Monteiro, 7-6(4) 6(5)-7 2-6 (Davis Cup)
  8. Rune beat Felix Auger-Aliassime, 6-4 6-4 (China Open First Round)

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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.