'It Was Kind Of In My Mind': How Federer Inspired Rune's Comeback Win At French Open

'It Was Kind Of In My Mind': How Federer Inspired Rune's Comeback Win At French Open

by Nurein Ahmed

Holger Rune took a leaf out of Roger Federer's comeback playbook to mount one of his own in reaching the third round of the 2024 Roland Garros.

Rune was in danger of becoming the second big-name casualty from the men's tournament to leave the French Open in the second-round stage after Andrey Rublev's shock defeat to Matteo Arnaldi.

And it was another Italian, Flavio Cobolli, who threatened the upset against the 13th seed, fighting back from two sets down to level the match and extending it to a fifth set.

From there, the underdog looked in pole position for a momentous five-set win when he led 5-0 in the decisive 10-point tie-break. However, the Dane clawed his way to match point by winning nine of the next 11 points.

When Cobolli misfired the final forehand to give Rune the win, the victor looked relieved, and his coaching team, led by Patrick Mouratoglou, was in a jubilant mood.

Talking to reporters in his post-match press conference as per Tennis Majors, Rune revealed that he was inspired by Federer's equally brilliant comeback from such a predicament when he defeated Tennys Sandgren at the 2020 Australian Open.

"All of a sudden, it came into my mind a match when Roger played Tennys Sandgren at the Australian Open. He won in five-set match tiebreak as well, and Sandgren had many chances. It was kind of in my mind. I don’t know how it appeared, it just did."

Although the scenarios were much different, the narrative was almost the same. Federer, who is Rune's childhood idol, needed to save an astonishing seven match points in the fourth-set tie-break before prevailing in the fifth. The 21-year-old opined that giving himself the freedom to go for his shots with nothing to lose paid dividends.

"I just switched my brain off a little bit and just tried to go for my shots. [Roger Federer] is always very relaxed when he’s playing. I told myself, okay, let’s try to relax. Then I started to hit my shots better, more freedom, got back on track."


You may also like