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Rune is Wide Awake in Dream Land

By Richard Pagliaro | @Tennis_Now | Saturday, June 3, 2023

One of the smoothest movers in the Roland Garros field, Holger Rune spends his spare time horizontal.

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The 20-year-old Rune rips his two-hander with vigor and credits his skill smacking the snooze button with his run into the Roland Garros second week.

Today, Rune rolled No. 231-ranked qualifier Genaro Alberto Olivieri, 6-4, 6-1, 6-3, cruising into the French Open fourth round for the second straight year.

Raising his 2023 clay-court record to 15-3, Rune is not only streaking, he's saving energy for a deep second-week run.

Rune has played only seven sets reaching the fourth round, thanks to a second-round walkover when Gael Monfils withdrew.

Tennis Express

In an era of over-caffeinated competitors, the jittery Rune says sleep is the key to his endless energy on court.

Catching Zzzs is Rune's concept of a dream day.

"I sleep a lot. I love to sleep. I probably sleep around, I don't know, 9 to 13 hours if I can," said Rune, who sometimes naps at tournament sites. "It's a lot. I really like it. I think it's the best recovery that you can have. You know, I actually think the muscle relax, everything relaxes when you sleep, so I try to, you know, every time I can sleep.

"Then when I'm awake I'm fully awake, yeah."

World No. 2 Daniil Medvedev's opening ouster leaves Rune, his frenemy and 2022 French Open finalist Casper Ruud, and ninth-seeded American Taylor Fritz as the only Top 10 seeds still standing in the bottom half of the draw.

Facing a dream draw, the ambitious Rune isn't sleeping on major opportunity.

The Munich champion believes he can master a maiden major in Paris—if he plays to peak potential.

"Obviously I believe I can [win Roland Garros]. But again, I have to play my best tennis, be in my best state of mind to do it, and I have to take one match at a time," Rune told the media in Paris. "Luckily I haven't used too much unnecessary energy during the tournament so far. I still think I can play better, which is good. I'm in the fourth round and I can play better, so it's a good thing. But obviously the matches are going to get harder and harder from now so I have to step up also.

"Yeah, and we'll see. I mean, I believe, but also you cannot only believe; you have to make it happen. Yeah, time will show."

Don't sleep on Rune's Roland Garros prospects.

The man who toppled Novak Djokovic en route to a Rome runner-up result will play either ninth-seeded American Fritz or 23rd-seeded Argentinean Francisco Cerundolo for a quarterfinal spot with the prospect of a Rune vs. Ruud quarterfinal rematch looming.

In his dreams, Rune has raised a Grand Slam title now he's playing for major awakening.

"Sometimes I have very good dreams that, you know, I stand there with the trophy and stuff, but then when you wake up, you're, like, Oh, shit, I'm just in bed (smiling).

"But then when you actually make the dreams to a reality it feels even better, because then you remember, oh, that's actually what I dreamt about. You know, in this case can be fun. But then when you wake up from a good dream, it's not as fun."

Photo credit: Clive Brunskill/Getty