'Very Nervous, Maybe Too Many Expectations': Rune After Rome Final Loss

'Very Nervous, Maybe Too Many Expectations': Rune After Rome Final Loss

Holger Rune got very close to winning his first ATP Masters 1000 title on clay yet again, but he lost in the 2023 Italian Open final.

The youngster already has one ATP 1000 trophy in his collection as he managed to win at the Paris Masters last year. This year, he played in the Monte-Carlo Masters final but lost to Andrey Rublev, and his try number two came in Rome against another Russian, Daniil Medvedev.

This time around, it was a straight sets loss for Rune but it certainly isn't something he should be sad about. Once again, he played very well throughout the week, just didn't manage to make the one last step. Speaking after the match, he admitted that he was a bit nervous but also spoke about expectations.

"I think I was very nervous stepping into the match. Obviously came through from a great match yesterday. Maybe put too many expectations on myself, even though I told myself not to."

But as an athlete and competitor who respects their opponent, Rune didn't forget to praise Medvedev for his incredible performance, which secured him his first-ever ATP Masters 1000 title on the clay courts.

"Yeah, he played great. He played really solid from the back of the court. The conditions were extremely slow today, I think slower than any other days. But, yeah, credit to him. I'm happy for him. It's his first title on clay. I think he has a good future also in clay. He's a great player on all courts. Yeah, I wish him the best."

There were many moments when the young Dane was quite close to forcing the deciding third set, but every time, his opponent just proved to be better. After the match, Rune admitted that he felt like he could have won the second set, but it was once again because of his opponent's fighting spirit that he couldn't do it.

"I think I could have won second set. Again, he managed to fight back. He fight every point, no matter if I was up or he was up. Maybe I think I could have done better at the 5-4 game in the second set. I had an easy forehand I missed. But that's it."

The 20-year-old also opened up a bit about his tactic. He approached the net a total of 32 times, in an attempt to take advantage of his opponent's return position. But the court conditions didn't really favour his tactic.

"Yeah, it's because of his position. He stays far back. Normally the court, it's a bit more lively as it was in Monte-Carlo, it's very effective because he hits the return higher and you have a lot of time to come in and close at the net."

Moreover, Medvedev was really incredible with his passing shots. The Russian produced a few that stunned the Dane as well as the crowd at Foro Italico and his commitment to these difficult shots was also one of the reasons for his success.

"Today he was good on the passes. He picked a side and he went full. He was well-prepared, yeah. I think I could have played better. Again, I mean, he managed everything better today, so well done to him."


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