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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Thursday June 8, 2023

It would have been easy to lean on the fatigue excuse. But Holger Rune wasn’t having any of it after falling in four sets to Casper Ruud in four sets in Wednesday’s final men’s singles quarterfinal at Roland-Garros.

Tennis Express

“I was fine physically. No excuse,” he said. “I just didn't play my level. It's tough, but sometimes it's like this, and you have to learn from it, come back stronger.”

It was a particularly painful start for the 20-year-old Dane, who won just three games in the first two sets and did not look like himself at all.

“I think I started very, very bad, unfortunately. I didn't find my level at all the first two sets,” Rune said. “Then I started to play a little bit better. Found some rhythm in my game. Managed to put him under pressure. But, again, it's too costly to start so late.

“Against a great player like him, he deserved to win because, first of all, I wasn't there the first two sets, but you cannot allow yourself to do that when you play a player like Casper, and any player at the top of the game, because it's too long of a way back. Credit to him for staying there.”

Rune says he’s ready to put the clay season behind him and look forward to the grass.

He finished the clay season at 16-4 with a title in Munich and a final at Rome, where he defeated Ruud in the semis before losing to Medvedev in the final. He went 4-3 against the Top 10 on the clay and also defeated then World No.1 Novak Djokovic in Rome.

“We have another Grand Slam around the corner, so I hope to be stronger there,” he said. “I'm happy that the clay season is over now. I'm ready to move on. Yeah, just focused on the grass now.”

The Dane has played 118 matches since the start of last season, and he says he will need time to refresh his body. But the World No.6 was unwilling to take away any credit from Ruud for his win.

“I have constant some problems, but it wasn't anything that would have -- if I didn't feel it, it wouldn't have changed the match,” he said. “So it's not something that I can use as an excuse. He was just better than me today, so I have to take it and move on and try to improve.”