In an extraordinary twist of fate on Thursday, Holger Rune made significant strides in securing his place at the prestigious Nitto ATP Finals. The day witnessed the surprising downfall of Taylor Fritz and Casper Ruud, ranked ninth and eleventh respectively in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin, heightening the intensity of the competition.
Holding the eighth position, Rune seized the moment with a convincing victory at the Swiss Indoors Basel, propelling him into the quarter-finals. The match was challenging as Rune faced off against Sebastian Baez, a formidable opponent with three ATP Tour titles this year.
The final score read 7-6(2), 6-1, a testament to Rune's tenacity and skill on the court. "The first set was a tough battle. Baez showcased impressive serving, and I had to focus to find my rhythm," Rune shared in a post-match interview.
"I maintained my concentration, particularly on my serve, and managed to elevate my game during the tie-break. That shift in momentum was crucial, and from there, I played progressively better tennis." This victory marked Rune’s 40th win of the season, a significant milestone for the young Dane.
Just days before, he was on the brink of elimination in his opening match against Miomir Kecmanovic. Still, this latest triumph has solidified his standing in the Live Race and increased his lead over Fritz to 135 points.
Rune Gears Up for Quarterfinals
Rune’s journey in Basel continues as he prepares to face Tomas Martin Etcheverry in what promises to be an electrifying match.
Etcheverry is coming off a grueling three-hour victory against former World No. 1 Andy Murray, setting the stage for a first-time encounter between him and Rune. "Proper preparation is key, and I’m looking forward to another great match tomorrow,” Rune stated, his eyes set firmly on the prize.
The tension was palpable as Rune, under the watchful eye of new coach Boris Becker, battled against the tenacious Baez. Demonstrating remarkable resilience, Rune saved the only break point he faced and dominated the second set after an early break of serve.
His impressive performance in Basel has solidified his standing in the tennis world, boasting a 6-1 record at the tournament after last year’s run to the final. As the day ended, Felix Auger-Aliassime, the player who bested Rune in last year’s final, continued his resurgence, eliminating Botic van de Zandschulp in a swift 81-minute match.
The Canadian, seeded sixth, is on a quest to defend his title, and if his current form is any indication, he is well on his way to achieving that goal.