Recently turned 17 year old Holger Rune made an appearance at the Ultimate Tennis Showdown on the final weekend of the opening event.
Held at the Mouratoglou Academy in Nice the Dane has been recently able to travel back to the Academy where he does most of his work and replaced Matteo Berrettini in the final match who had commitments in Kitzbuhel before coming back to Nice for the semi-finals.
Holger has been ITF number one, Roland Garros junior champion in 2019 and ITF world champion. I totally recommend watching his matches, you can watch Challenger Streams for free online
Holger stepped in to play against Corentin Moutet in a fun and new format. Five quarters of 10 minutes each and the person with the most points at the end of the 10 minutes wins the quarter.
It did take a while for Holger to settle into the match against Moutet, then again he has not played at this level before having only moved more into ATP Challenger events since around June last year.
Holger found himself two quarters down and close to going out in straight sets to the Frenchman but really dug deep. It was good to see Holger grow into the match and come up with winners in extended rallies some of which he might have been used to winning on the ITF tour but finding those finer margins.
A problem in the opening two quarters was I felt he was a little too deep. He is a good mover around the court and has a good two handed backhand which is effective behind and inside the baseline but he couldn’t get the forehand as effective.
In the third and fourth he turned it around and managed to move up the court to strike his inside-out forehand and the inside-in and follow in at the net. It propelled Holger to gain some control as he took the match to sudden death.
In sudden death it is simple, first player to win two consecutive points wins with each player taking it in turns to serve once.
It was a tense ending, both players had the lead at some point but it was Moutet who won in five sets but a good performance from the teenager!