Holger Rune

  • Name

    Holger Rune

  • Age

    19 years (Born 29/04/2003)

  • Country

    Denmark

  • Turned Pro

    2020

  • Height

    1.88m/6'1"

  • Weight

    77kg/169lbs

  • Total Prize Money

    $3,006,478

Holger Rune – Playing style

Holger Rune has a high-energy game built around a dependable and often taxing serve. Aged 19, it comes as no surprise that Rune plays a physical brand of tennis, covering the court phenomenally well, but the young Dane’s game is a lot more nuanced than simply speed and power. 

Rune’s formidable serve forms a strong foundation from which he builds an all-court approach, winning 71% of his first serves and a very respectable 80% of all service games – during his breakout 2022 season. However, Holger is no ‘servebot’ like giants such as John Isner or Rielly Opelka. 

At 1.88m (6’1”) Rune has to lean heavily on wide serves, loaded with plenty of kick. In fact, Rune serves more to the wings than his body and T-serves combined – something that may ultimately need to be addressed, to avoid his game becoming too predictable. 

And while he serves a solid number of aces, the majority of Rune’s points come from an admirable selection of groundstrokes, many of which are set-up by precision serves that aggressively fizz and pop off the ground. 

Overall, there is no denying the fact that Rune is every inch the modern player with a high-octane style predicated on speed and power, but with Roger Federer as one of Holger’s idols, we see the Swiss maestro’s DNA  in the snippets of guile with style that often punctuates the Dane’s game. Deft drop-shots and cleverly created angles offer an intriguing contrast against a raft of heavy, baseline hitting. 

By contrast, Rune also puts Rafael Nadal on a pedestal and you cannot fail to miss the Nadalesque pop to Rune’s shots underpinned by a level of intensity that would make the Spaniard proud. And like Nadal, Rune is nerveless, consistently hitting shots with oodles of spin and absolute commitment, a brand of tennis synonymous with the great Spaniard. Tennis gives some stellar players sleepless nights.

Like Nadal, Rune also possesses a double-handed backhand, and for Holger, the backhand wing is far from a weaker cousin to his blistering forehand. In fact. No less than Novak, who recently fell to Rune at the Paris Masters, remarked as to how strong a shot this is. Djokovic went so far as to say that Rune’s backhand was stronger than that of Carlos Alcaraz.     

So, with a strong serve, an athletic all-court game, and potency from both backhand and forehand wings alike, Holger Rune has the tools necessary to trouble any of his peers. And with time on his side to develop further, Rune will undoubtedly refine his style and become even more of a presence on tour.

Holger Rune – Personal Bio

Holger Vitus Nodskov Rune was born in Gentofte, Denmark in April, 2003. Inspired by his tennis-playing elder sister, Alma, Rune first started to play tennis at the age of 6. It soon became clear that Holger not only loved tennis but was exceptionally good at it, being inspired by Rafael Nadal and more notably Roger Federer.   

The head coach at Holger’s club, Lars Christensen, took Rune under his wing and still coaches the young Dane today, a role he now shares with the recently appointed Patrick Mouratoglou, who has known and effectively worked with Rune since 2016.

In addition to his world renowned academy, Mouratoglou also runs a program called ‘Champ’seed’ which supports young tennis players with exceptional talent but maybe not the financial means to capitalize on their potential. Rune was accepted into this program in 2016 following an alumnus that includes Stefano Tsitsipas and Coco Gauff.         

With his talent and commitment complemented by an enviable support network that included his omnipresent mother, Aneke, Rune ascended the tennis ranks at junior level, becoming the highest-ranked player in the world for his age and winning Roland Garros in 2019  for his first and only junior major. 

In March 2021 Rune graduated to the ATP Tour via a wildcard, making his debut at elite level in Argentina. Holger was afforded a steady stream of wildcards thereafter and began taking notable scalps as his stock steadily rose. 

Holger Rune – What the Bros say

We know that Rune is a prodigious talent with a full toolbox of shots. Technically and athletically there is nothing that can hold the Dane back. And crucially, at the tender age of 19, we have yet to see the fully developed and most mature version of Holger Rune.  

The big question, however, is if Rune’s temperament will be an impediment that could limit his potential. Rune’s meteoric rise has been plagued by some unfortunate turbulence, enough to suggest that it could impinge upon his untapped upside.  

In June of 2021, Holger won an ATP Challenger tournament in Biella, Italy. But, an ugly show of temper mired his triumph. In the semi-final, Rune was heard shouting homophobic slurs – seemingly aimed at his opponent. Rune, however, contentiously claimed they were directed at himself.

And since this incident, more controversies followed with Rune engendering Casper Ruud’s wrath at the 2022 French Open.

During the match with Ruud, Holger yelled at his mother to leave the match, which she did. And as the two players frostily shook hands at the game’s conclusion, Ruud shook his head following Rune’s antics. And it did not end there.

Holger subsequently accused Ruud of celebrating his win by shouting ‘yes’ in his face while in the locker room post-match. An account labeled as a lie by Ruud.

More recently, Grand Slam winner Stan Wawrinka had choice words for Holger after the Swiss star lost in their first-round match during the 2022 ATP Paris Masters. As the two shook hands Wawrinka was heard saying “next time, don’t be such a baby”. Again, in response to more petulance from the Dane.

But controversy aside, the Bros believe that Rune can spearhead the next generation of superstar players, standing alongside Jannik Sinner and Carlos Alcaraz. We believe that he can not only overcome his temperament issues but channel them positively into his game. 

Rune has a habit of ignoring peripheral noise, he won the tournament where he was heard shouting homophobic slurs and he also won after Stan Wawrinka scolded him – beating Djokovic in the final of an ATP 1000 no less. So, the ultimate question may not be about Rune’s ability to win, more so his ability to win with the kind of class one associates with Federer and Nadal – Holger’s heroes.  

Holger Rune – How Far Can He Go?

Success in tennis hinges not just on the individual, but also on the strength of the competition. We all know that Andy Murray has long been an elite competitor capable of winning multiple majors, but he had the misfortune of playing in an era that included three of the game’s greatest-ever exponents. 

For Rune, however, it feels as though he can hold his own against his contemporaries, players such as Sinner and Alcaraz to enjoy an equitable share of the game’s biggest prizes. Novak and Rafa are very much in the autumn of their careers and with Rune already having what it takes to beat players of Zverev’s quality, it is unfathomable to think Denmark will not have themselves their first men’s major winner. Rather, it may be a question of how many. 

In his favor, Rune has a prolific record on hardcourts and along with a junior win at Roland Garros, his game is already compatible with three of the four Grand Slams, and like Rafa, he will undoubtedly adapt to the vagaries of grass with experience. 

With fierce determination in his DNA along with an ironclad resolve that makes him almost immune to outside noise, Holger Rune has the mental and physical tools necessary to carve out a career that will make him a staple on the biggest stages, involving multiple Grand Slam victories.

Holger Rune – Reasons to Support 

There are reasons not to like Rune, some of his behavior has clearly been unedifying. But we have to contextualize things and remember that he is just a teenager living in the spotlight and trying to learn from each transgression. But the things that have made him incendiary, also make him an unmissable watch on the court.

Rune’s misplaced exuberance can often parlay into a fearless brand of tennis, as evidenced by his recent run at the Paris Masters where he dispatched several top ten players before coming from a set down to defeat Djokovic in the final.

The young Dane does not get overwhelmed by his opponent – and tennis needs players with chutzpah, players who make the sport a compelling spectacle. Tennis is under threat from other racket sports and is continually fighting for the attention of audiences with no shortage of options. So, the fact that we have an eminently watchable talent who loves to entertain is a great reason to get behind Holger Rune. 

Equipment Choices

Racket

Rune is playing a 98sq inch Pure Aero VS with a 16x20 string bed, and from what we gather, this racket is virtually identical to the retail model. Yes, his collection of frames is likely to be individually matched to ensure frame-to-frame consistency, but there is no sign that Rune’s racket is a pro-stock frame disguised as a regular Pure Aero VS - a familiar tactic used by manufacturers to encourage sales of any current retail offering.

String

Rune strings his Pure Aero VS with Babolat’s renowned RPM Blast, a stiff poly that trades heavily in spin.Rune strings his rackets at circa 25.5kgs (56lbs) and with the Pure Aero VS being a reasonably stout frame with a stiffness rating (RA) of 67, this is definitely a young and supple player’s set-up and one to avoid if you suffer with arm sensitivity.Nonetheless, if you can handle the harshness and provide your own power, stiffness equals control while the string itself is shaped to bring class-leading spin to the table.

Accessories

Holger Rune is sponsored by Nike and wears their apparel and footwear. He is also sponsored by Babolat and uses their rackets and strings. He uses the Nike Court Air Zoom Vapour Pro shoe.