Holger Rune - Australian Open 2024

Holger Rune ‘has to improve mentally’ claims coach Boris Becker

Holger Rune has been knocked out of the Australian Open by French wildcard Arthur Cazaux, with his coach Boris Becker revealing what the Dane needs to improve.

Rune was beaten, 6(4)-7 4-6 6-4 3-6, to provide world No.108 Cazaux with only his third ever main tour win.

This is the first Grand Slam tournament that the aforementioned Becker has been part of Rune’s team, and the German has spoken about his player’s shortcomings.

“He’s got a very quick arm, he’s got a lot of firepower, he’s got a lot of inspiration on the court, but at the same time that’s the problem,” Becker told Eurosport. “It’s knowing when to do what. So talking about tactics, when to accelerate, when to take chances and when you play defensively, it’s always a fine line when to do what.”

Becker continued, “Losing the first set in the tie-break and then losing your very first service game in the second set, those are the moments he has to improve mentally.

“He needs to use the heavy topspin a bit more. Now and then it’s a bit flat or he hits a half-volley from the baseline, which on good days is a trick shot and on bad days you hit it with the frame out. So the average needs to be a little higher and I would want him to play with a heavier topspin.”

Despite the disappointment in Melbourne, Becker confirmed that this coaching relationship would continue alongside Roger Federer’s former coach Severin Luthi, “I call him a rough diamond, you just have to shape him a little bit.

“I was very happy we could have Severin Luthi join the team because coaching Holger is full-time for 52 weeks a year and I have other obligations so we’re going to find a way where sometimes he coaches him, sometimes I do and sometimes we do it together. Let’s see how it plays out.”

Rune’s next scheduled tournament is the ATP 500 indoor tournament in Rotterdam, which will begin on Monday 12th February.

Inside the baseline…

It was a day full of surprises at the Australian Open on Wednesday, with Holger Rune’s defeat to Arthur Cazaux seemingly going under the radar. Constructive criticism is often healthy for players, however I am not sure if Rune will appreciate this so much on a public platform. Time will tell if this partnership is going to work in the long term, as sometimes too many egos can cause disruption.

You can watch the Australian Open live on Eurosport and Discovery+.

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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.