Holger Rune's Coaching Odyssey: Seeking the Perfect Fit After Becker, Luthi

Holger Rune lost two high-profile coaches within a week

by Jovica Ilic
Holger Rune's Coaching Odyssey: Seeking the Perfect Fit After Becker, Luthi
© Clive Brunskill / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Ranked world no. 7, Holger Rune finds himself in a sudden coaching quandary after the unexpected departures of Severin Luthi and Boris Becker within a week! Rune had recently enlisted the services of both coaches in the latter part of 2023, collaborating with Becker during tournaments in Paris and Turin and bringing Luthi on board in December.

With two high-profile coaches, Holger appeared poised for a breakthrough season in 2024, eyeing significant titles on the horizon. However, the abrupt resignations of Luthi and Becker caught many off guard, with two coaches citing the lack of time to commit themself fully and follow the young Dane throughout the season.

Holger Rune© Morgan Hancock / Stringer Getty Images Sport

Now faced with a coaching vacuum, Holger must embark on the task of assembling a new support staff, one that shares his aspirations and can provide unwavering dedication and enthusiasm.

Despite the setbacks, Rune expressed gratitude toward Luthi and Becker, emphasizing there are no hard feelings and assuring fans that details about his new coaching team will be forthcoming. Boris and Holger joined forces at the Paris Masters, targeting a spot at the ATP Finals, which the Dane achieved.

Rune lost two tight encounters to Novak Djokovic and Jannik Sinner in Turin, failing to pass the round-robin stage and finishing the season. The German did not travel with the Dane to Australia at the end of 2023, which raised concerns over their partnership.

Severin Luthi stepped in, and Holger kicked off the new season in Brisbane. Rune took down Max Purcell, Alexander Shevchenko, James Duckworth and Roman Safiulin en route to a place in the final. Holger met Grigor Dimitrov in a battle for the title and suffered a 7-6, 6-4 defeat in two hours and 16 minutes.

The more experienced player prevailed in the pivotal moments and clinched his first ATP title in over six years. The Bulgarian served at 70% and overpowered the Dane behind the second serve. Grigor saved all three break points and kept the pressure on Holger, who faced nine break points.

The young gun produced a valiant effort in defending eight, losing a tight opener and sealing his fate after getting broken once in the second set.

Holger Rune will make a fresh start without Boris Becker and Severin Luthi.

Rune had to work hard in the opening round of the Australian Open, beating Yoshihito Nishioka 6-2, 4-6, 7-6, 6-4 in three hours and 25 minutes.

The Japanese pushed his rival to the limits after the first set, taking the second and missing a chance to open two sets to one advantage. Rune broke early in the fourth set and served well until the end. Holger fired 17 aces and 70 winners, outplaying his rival behind the first and second serve.

The Dane saved six out of seven break points and kept the pressure on his opponent, securing three breaks and booking a place in the second round. World no. 8 experienced a massive 7-6, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 loss to world no. 122 Arthur Cazaux, packing his bags after only two matches and returning to Europe.

Severin Luthi and Holger Rune© Getty Images Sport - Kelly Defina

Holger felt slight pain in his knee, but we should not take anything away from Arthur, who produced impressive tennis. Cazaux fired 18 aces and 50 winners, taming his strokes nicely and reducing the number of errors to 30.

The French player attacked and kept the rallies on his racquet, throwing everything at the Dane and celebrating a notable victory. Holger fought well but it was not enough for more than a set, losing serve three times and ending his campaign earlier than expected.

Needing matches, Rune asked for a wild card in Montpellier last week, keeping off the action against Pablo Llamas Ruiz. The Dane beat the Spaniard 7-5, 6-2, taking charge in the closing stages of the opening set and bringing the victory home for a place in the quarter-final.

The 20-year-old faced Michael Mmoh and prevailed 7-6, 6-4 in just over two hours. Rune fired 17 aces and defended three out of four break points. He broke the American two times from nine chances, moving into the last four and setting the clash versus Borna Coric.

Holger trailed 6-3, 4-1 before retiring with an arm injury, not risking more serious issues. If he recovers, Rune will play as the third seed at the ATP 500 event in Rotterdam, and we might see the new face in his coaching box.

Holger Rune, Australian Open 2024© Morgan Hancock / Stringer - Getty Images Sport

"I have been trying different coaching constelations the past 12 months. I had been working with the same coach for 15 years, my entire tennis life.

It's not easy to find the perfect fit on the first try. I have learned a lot during the process, trying to feel good on the court and develop as I want. My ambitions and goals are big, and I need people around me who share the same vision and who I can trust.

Thus, I need people who can be with me all the time and provide me with constant comfort and happiness. I want to thank all the people involved in the process. Lars, Boris and Severin, I love you, and I will inform you shortly about my final coaching set up," Holger Rune said.

Holger Rune