June 17, 2024

‘My Goal Is Always To Win’: Rune Talks Italian Open Ambitions On Return To Rome

Holger Rune is already looking forward to competing at the Italian Open, a year from losing the championship match.

The Dane is one of the top performers on clay, having won two career titles on the surface and achieving his best Grand Slam result so far by reaching back-to-back quarterfinals at Roland Garros (2022 and 2023).

This season, Rune has slightly underperformed on clay heading to Rome. He was a quarterfinalist in Monte Carlo (lost to Jannik Sinner) and suffered one of the quickest defeats of his career during his title defense at the Munich Open, losing to Jan Lennard Struff in under 50 minutes.

Holger Rune: 'I think if everybody was the same, it would be a bit boring'  | French Open 2023 | The Guardian

Two weeks ago, he was beaten by Tallon Griekspoor in the third round of the Madrid Open. The 21-year-old has compiled a 5-3 record on the dirt. By contrast, at the same stage last season, Rune was 8-2.

But he’s not dwelling on past results, with his focus firmly on winning the Italian Open. Rune, who took part in the official draw ceremony, told Sky Sport that his goal is always to win a tournament from the moment he steps out to play his first match.

“My goal is always to win. I think after starting the match from the second round (it is) to get to the end.”

Rune, who was beaten by Daniil Medvedev in last year’s final, can meet the Russian in the quarterfinal stage during the fortnight. He stated that he preferred the climate in Italy to Spain. As the 10th seed, he has a bye in the first round but will play either Luca Nardi or Daniel Altmaier in the second round.

“The courts there were at altitude and it was very cold. Here, however, the climate is fantastic and this tournament is always beautiful.”

“This tournament is always amazing, the food is amazing. I love everything about Rome and even the location of the draw was incredible. Physically I’m very well, I’m also mentally charged and I’m ready to play. I think it’s easier to play in Rome than in Madrid.”

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