Rune Sets Second-Round Clash With Zverev In Munich

Holger Rune (photo: Florian Heer)

MUNICH, April 25, 2022

Danish teen sensation Holger Rune has made a successful debut in Munich by reaching the second round of the BMW Open by American Express. The 18-year-old Gentofte native, a winner of five ATP Challenger Tour events, defeated Czech qualifier Jiri Lehecka 7-6(4), 6-3 on Monday afternoon at the MTTC Iphitos.

World No. 70 Rune, who entered the ATP 250 tournament with a wild card, capitalized on four of his 11 break-point chances to secure victory in one hour and 37 minutes.

“I had a slow start into the match and Jiri played really good in the first set. I only had one day of practice here and needed to get used to the conditions. I was telling myself to just be in the moment, being focused and not get too angry. That was good,” Rune said during his post match on-court interview.

“Conditions are fine. It feels a bit like a home advantage. I really like playing in Germany, especially this tournament with an amazing organization. I really wanted to come and I am happy for the wild card to compete in this tournament.”

The teenager will next challenge World No. 3 as well as the tournament’s top seed Alexander Zverev and is looking forward to the second-round clash.

“I am happy. This is what I am working for every day, being able to play the best guys in the world. It’s gonna be tough for sure but I am really excited to see how my level in this match will be,” Rune said.

Altmaier fights past Kohlschreiber

Earlier in the day, Daniel Altmaier emerged victorious from the battle of the “German one-handed backhand boys” with 38-year-old three-time Munich champion Philipp Kohlschreiber, winning 7-6(5), 3-6, 6-1. In the first meeting between the two, Altmaier won four points more than his rival to prevail after two hours and 25 minutes.

“It’s my first time on this court in Munich. Kohli has celebrated a lot of success here. That’s makes it difficult,” Altmaier said. “We have known each other since I was nine years old. The weather was nice today and it was fun. I hope the spectators liked it, too. It’s always nice to play on home soil. I was away from home for about eight months, so it’s great to be back in Germany.”

The 23-year-old from Kempen, who is sitting on a career-high ranking of World No. 67, will next take on Miomir Kecmanovic. The No. 7 seed from Serbia defeated 18-year-old German wild card entry Max Hans Rehberg 6-2, 6-3 in one hour and 12 minutes.

In other action, Alex Molcan battled past fellow Slovakian Norbert Gombos 6-1, 3-6, 7-6(7) in one hour and 54 minutes and will be the first opponent for No. 2 seed Casper Ruud of Norway on Thursday.

Emil Ruusuvuori of Finland beat Japanese qualifier Yoshihito Nishioka 7-6(5), 7-5 after two hours and 21 minutes and awaits the winner of the encounter between US-American Maxime Cressy and No. 6 seed Daniel Evans from Great Britain. Their match was suspended due to rain and postponed to tomorrow with Cressy leading 2-0.

Munich Moments

* Bavarian tennis icon Kohlschreiber debuted in Munich in 2002 and was playing his 17th edition this year. He won the title three times (2007, 2012, 2016) and made three additional finals.

“It’s possible that this was my last singles match in Munich … I still love tennis but it’s getting more and more difficult for me to stay in hotels and to experience the same week after week.”

* World No. 1,067 Rehberg made his main draw debut on the ATP Tour. It was his first time facing a Top 50 player. The 18-year-old Munich native is Germany’s best ranked teenager. Only six players at the age of under 25 are ranked inside the Top 400.

* Filip Krajinovic of Serbia pulled out of the tournament due to personal reasons and will be replaced by Chilean lucky loser Alejandro Tabilo, who will face his compatriot and 2019 BMW Open champion Cristian Garin in the opening round.

* Main draw action started under a blue and white sky in Bavaria’s capital city. Weather forecast, however, doesn’t look too promising: 9 degrees Celsius and rain is expected on Tuesday.