Holger Rune's Dream Team: Roger Federer's Coach in the Box

Holger Rune is working with Roger Federer's former coach Severin Luthi

by Jovica Ilic
Holger Rune's Dream Team: Roger Federer's Coach in the Box
© Darrian Traynor / Stringer - Getty Images Sport

Holger Rune added two high-profile coaches to his team ahead of 2024, with Boris Becker and Severin Luthi trying to elevate his game and lead him toward more notable titles. While Becker is not with Rune in Australia, Luthi is there to monitor the young gun at the season's first Major.

The Swiss spent 15 years in Roger Federer's box, working with the legend and becoming one of his closest friends. Holger kicked off the action at Melbourne Park with a 6-2, 4-6, 7-6, 6-4 win over Yoshihito Nishioka in three hours and 25 minutes.

The Dane expressed his delight to have Roger Federer's former coach in his box, acknowledging the Swiss as his childhood idol. Rune had to work hard against the stubborn Nishioka, especially after the opener. Holger played well in the third set and grabbed an early break in the fourth to bring the victory home.

Valiant Rune saved six out of seven break points and fired a staggering 70 winners, keen to control the pace against a fine baseliner. Nishioka lost serve three times, fighting well but ending his campaign in the first round.

Rune faced issues at 1-1 in the opener, erasing two break points and holding with a forehand winner.

Holger Rune mentioned Roger Federer as his childhood idol.

The young gun clinched a break in the next one after the rival's forehand mistake, moving 3-1 in front and cementing the lead with a comfortable hold in game five.

Yoshihito saved two break points in game six before serving to stay in the set at 2-5. The Japanese hit a double fault, losing serve for the second time and pushing the Dane in front after 39 minutes. Holger struggled a bit at the beginning of the second set, getting broken in game five after Yoshihito's forehand winner.

Nishioka faced three break points in game six, defending them and holding for a healthy 4-2 lead. Rune saved a break point in game seven and made one last push on the return at 4-5, acquiring a break chance with a forehand winner.

Nishioka responded with a backhand winner and wrapped up the game with another direct point from his volley, taking the set 6-4 and improving his chances.

Holger Rune, Australian Open 2024© Darrian Traynor / Stringer - Getty Images Sport

Rune saved a break point in the third game of the third set, with good holds following on each side.

Yoshihto served to stay in the set at 4-5 and sprayed a backhand error to experience a set point. The Japanese saved it with a smash winner and prolonged the battle as they reached a tie break. Rune created three set points at 6-3 and converted the first with a forehand winner, moving two sets to one in front and closing to the finish line.

The Dane grabbed an early break in the fourth set with a volley winner at the net, slowly ending his rival's resistance. Holger served well in the rest of the clash, landing three powerful serves at 5-4 for a hold at love and a place in the second round.

"Having Roger Federer's coach in my box is amazing. Roger was my childhood idol, and it's great to have a bit of him in my team," Holger Rune said.

Holger Rune Roger Federer Severin Luthi