Tue, 03 Oct 2023

Holger Rune wins in five sets to reach French Open quarters

Field Level Media
06 Jun 2023, 09:40 GMT+10

No. 6 seed Holger Rune of Denmark survived a five-set thriller against No. 23 seed Francisco Cerundolo 7-6 (3), 3-6, 6-4, 1-6, 7-6 (7) in the French Open Round of 16 on Monday in Paris.

The 20-year-old Rune set up a quarterfinal match against fourth seed Casper Ruud of Norway, who advanced in straight sets Monday.

Rune needed to see the on-court physio while trailing 0-3 in the fourth set, citing a bout of dizziness. He let the fourth set get away but led 5-4 in the fifth set and served for the match.

Cerundolo broke Rune's serve and then went ahead 6-5, but Rune forced the tiebreaker. Neither player won more than two straight points in that tiebreaker until Rune, down 7-6, pulled out four straight for the 10-7 triumph.

It marked Rune's first five-set victory in three chances.

"I had a heartbreaking loss in Australia, where I had this situation," Rune said in his on-court interview. "I served for the match and lost and ended up in a match tiebreak like this, so actually I told myself when we started the match tiebreak (Monday) just to relax and play tennis and enjoy (it).

"Moments like this stay with you forever, no matter if you win or lose, you just go and enjoy and try to play your best, so I enjoyed every moment."

Rune had to overcome 10 double faults and 73 total unforced errors for the three-hour, 59-minute win.

Ruud defeated Chile's Nicolas Jarry 7-6 (3), 7-5, 7-5. He and Rune will meet in the French Open quarterfinals for the second straight year; Ruud won in four sets in 2022 en route to reaching the finals.

"Three very, very tough sets," Ruud said. "I think (Monday) I can thank my team for pushing me every day in practice because not every day is as tough as (this one)."

The fourth and final quarterfinal matchup in the men's draw will pit No. 22 seed Alexander Zverev of Germany against Tomas Martin Etcheverry of Argentina.

Zverev beat No. 28 seed Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria 6-1, 6-4, 6-3. Zverev saved 14 of 16 break points and had a 4-0 edge in aces. He'll look to make the French Open semifinals for the third year in a row.

Etcheverry is the lone unseeded player in the final eight after taking down No. 27 seed Yoshihito Nishioka of Japan 7-6 (8), 6-0, 6-1. This is the furthest the 23-year-old has advanced in any Grand Slam event.

The other quarterfinal matches in the men's draw will see top-seeded Carlos Alcaraz of Spain battle No. 5 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece and No. 3 seed Novak Djokovic of Serbia tangle with No. 11 seed Karen Khachanov of Russia.

--Field Level Media

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