Danish teenager Holger Rune produced a statement victory over Stefanos Tsitsipas to reach the French Open quarter-finals on Monday.
The 19-year-old world No. 40 broke into the top 100 at the start of this year and recorded his first-ever Grand Slam win when beating Denis Shapovalov in the opening round at Roland-Garros.
And after beating Henri Laaksonen and Hugo Gaston in straight sets, his dream French Open debut continued with a 7-5 3-6 6-3 6-4 victory over last year’s finalist and No. 4 seed Tsitsipas.
Tennis
Diriyah Tennis Cup: What is the schedule, who is playing, what is the format
YESTERDAY AT 10:52
It goes down as one of the biggest scalps of his career so far, and Rune - who beat Alexander Zverev in Munich earlier this year - faces No. 8 seed Casper Ruud next for a place in the semi-finals.
“I have an unbelievable feeling right now,” said Rune, who was broken by Tsitsipas when serving for the match in the fourth set at 5-2, and then saved three more break points two games later before closing it out.
“I was so nervous at the end; the crowd was amazing for me… [during] the whole match, the whole tournament, [and] I’m so happy to be playing on this court.”
Both players converted their first break-point opportunities in a tight first set typified by a disputed line call in the 10th game.

'Thrilling match' - Rune makes history as he beats Tsitsipas to reach quarter-finals

The decision went Rune’s way, much to Tsitsipas’ disbelief, and after the narrowest of calls the Dane then held before breaking the No. 4 seed a game later.
Rune was able to serve out for the set, and early in the second he was looking to take that momentum with him, but Tsitsipas saved three break points in the third game.
Tsitsipas then dug deep to break in the eighth game and seal the set in the ninth, but despite the expectation he would take his game to another level, it was Rune who outshone the Greek in the third set.
A clinical first-serve percentage of 83, compared to Tsitsipas’ 59, ensured Rune never gave his opponent a sniff, and his break to love in the sixth game helped him win the set 6-3 and move back in front.

'What a bullet!' - Rune breaks Tsitsipas in style in French Open clash

Out to wrap it up in four, Rune was looking the stronger of the two players, and after squandering three break points in the third game, he broke twice to make it 5-2 and put himself within touching distance of the quarters.
Hoping to close it out, Rune was then broken as Tsitsipas valiantly kept the match alive before the former was then presented with a second chance to serve for the match.
A tense game ensued as a nervy Rune realised its importance, and somehow after saving three break points he converted his first match point to win what goes down as the biggest win of his career, given the circumstances.

Watch Tsitsipas' furious reaction to shot against Rune at French Open

“I was very nervous, but at the same time, if I [departed] from the tactic against Tsitsipas, I’m going to lose, for sure, so I told myself to [stick] to the plan and play through the tough moments, and it worked out at the end, [giving] me a huge confidence boost. It’s so great to still be here,” Rune said.
“It was part of the tactic; to try to play as aggressively as possible, because when Stefanos [receives] shorter balls, he attacks them; so I had to be aggressive, really fast, take time away from him, and I really liked playing the drop shots - they’re fun to play - so it worked out pretty well, so I’m happy.”
He added: “I get so emotional when I talk about family and coaches, but we are in the quarter-finals; we haven’t won the tournament yet! My mum is up there, and she is why I’m here today. I’m so grateful to have such a great team to help me through the tough situations.”
--
Stream the 2022 French Open live and on-demand on discovery+
ATP Finals
'I regret saying that' - Tsitsipas apologises to Rublev for ATP Finals remarks
YESTERDAY AT 08:52
Tennis
Who could be the next first-time No. 1 in 2023?
29/11/2022 AT 14:04