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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Saturday May 20, 2023

Holger Rune

Holger Rune rallied from a set and break down to reach his second Masters 1000 final of the season.

Photo Source: TTV

Casper Ruud was well and firmly in the driver’s seat of Saturday’s all-Scandinavian semifinal on Court Centrale in Rome, but the Norwegian lost the plot as Rune surged to the finish, winning 10 of the final 12 games to complete a 6-7(2), 6-4, 6-2 triumph.

Tennis Express

“Honestly, I told myself that I had nothing to lose,” Rune said on court after the match, which was the first all-Scandinavian semifinal at a Masters event since 1997. “He was probably going to win the match so I just told myself to play free and enjoy it. I told myself it’s probably my last set here so I just tried to play how I want to play – play aggressive and enjoy it – I did that and that was the key to come back.”

Rune, who saved four match points in the Munich final to win his fourth career title earlier this spring, will bid for his second Masters 1000 title and fifth overall on Sunday against either Stefanos Tsitsipas or Daniil Medvedev.

It has been another eye-opening week for the rising talent who took out Novak Djokovic in the quarterfinals to improve to 2-1 lifetime against reigning World No.1 players, and 6-1 against the Top 5.

He made it 7-1 against the Top 5 on Saturday, and improved to 18-4 in his last six Masters 1000 appearances.

It looked like it would be Ruud who would be playing the final for half of the match, as he was up 7-6(2), 4-2 and had not faced a break point yet. The Norwegian comfortably claimed the opening set tiebreak, hammering his seventh ace of the opening set to take a 5-0 lead and closed it out a few points later.

He broke for 3-2 in the second set, at which point Rune took a medical timeout to have his shoulder treated.

A few games later, Ruud’s trouble began as his lethal forehand began missing the mark, which allowed opportunities for Rune to take the run of play.

After breaking back for 4-all, te 20-year-old saved a pair of break points to hold for 5-4 in set two then quickly closed the middle set out.

Rune, flowing freely and now taking the play to Ruud, broke for 3-1 in the deciding set (thanks to Ruud’s fourth double-fault of the day) and added an insurance break to close out the match, settling affairs in two hours and 43 minutes.

Rune finished with 38 winners (25 forehand) against 25 unforced errors; Ruud turned in 32 winners (19 forehand) against 30 unforced.

The Dane improves to 1-4 lifetime against Ruud – he had lost ten of their first 11 sets before turning Saturday’s clash on its ear.


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