Rune Receives Incorrectly Strung Racket During Heated Match At Madrid Open

Rune Receives Incorrectly Strung Racket During Heated Match At Madrid Open

by Nurein Ahmed

Holger Rune's second-round match at this year's Madrid Open was full of drama and tension, and he showed dismay when he noticed that one of his rackets was wrongly strung.

Rune competed at this ATP 1000 tournament for the first time in 2023, and even then, he was the center of attention in a chaotic third-round match against Alejandro Davidovich Fokina when he drew the ire of the Spanish crowd after a hawk-eye controversy.

The Dane was back in Madrid, this time as the 11th seed, and was entangled in a tricky match against the fast-improving Mariano Navone. The Argentine, who is only three years older than Rune, has been playing very well this season.

Navone has been so consistent in the sporadic appearances he has made on the ATP tour, especially on clay, which is his strongest surface. He has been to two finals already this year, one of which came at the Rio Open.

As a qualifier, Navone defeated the likes of Yannick Hanfmann, Joao Fonseca, and defending champion Cameron Norrie before running out of steam in the championship match against compatriot Sebastian Baez.

It didn't take him long to reach his second final this past week in Bucharest, where the experienced Marton Fucsovics beat him. With confidence at an all-time high, Navone entered Friday's match against the 11th seed on the back of a solid win over Alexei Popyrin.

The World No. 41 had nothing to lose, and that made him even more dangerous. He took the first set 7-5 and broke Rune in the 11th game of the second set to serve for the match.

However, nerves kicked in as he produced two untimely double faults to give the former World No. 4 a route back into the match. Rune broke back to send the set into a tiebreak.

The 20-year-old cruised in the tiebreak to level the match before breaking Navone on two occasions to take a 5-1 lead in the decider. After requesting his racket be strung, the Dane was not happy with the stringers, who fumbled twice by apparently missing a cross string.

Although the top-ranked players usually have their own stringers, tournaments offer this service at a fee. The players on site can request that the rackets be restrung.

Rune expressed his dissatisfaction with losing a huge lead in the second set and complained to the umpire, saying, "The tournament is trying to cheat me.....they missed one string on my racquet". Eventually, he regrouped and eased past Navone on his sixth match point.


You may also like