Holger Rune's Coaching Carousel: Kenneth Carlsen Steps In

Holger Rune lost two high-profile coaches within a week

by Jovica Ilic
Holger Rune's Coaching Carousel: Kenneth Carlsen Steps In
© Morgan Hancock / Stringer - Getty Images Sport

After parting ways with Boris Becker and Severin Luthi, Holger Rune appointed his compatriot Kenneth Carlsen as his new coach. The 50-year-old Dane is former world no. 41, winning three ATP titles from seven finals. Kenneth wrapped up the 1992 season in the top-70 and repeated that 13 years later before slowly ending his tennis journey in 2007.

Unlike Becker and Luthi, who could not travel with Rune regularly, Carlsen will work with his compatriot on a full-time base and stay on the coaching staff even if Holger brings more people in the future. The young Dane lost two high-profile coaches within a week, finding himself in a difficult position and turning to a well-known figure he trusts.

Holger Rune, Montpellier 2024© Stream screenshot

Rune collaborated with Becker in Paris and Turin at the end of 2023 before bringing Luthi on board in December. The German did not travel with the Dane to Australia at the end of 2023, which raised concerns over their partnership.

Severin stepped in, and Holger kicked off the new season in Brisbane. Rune defeated four rivals en route to a place in the final. Holger battled for the title against Grigor Dimitrov and suffered a 7-6, 6-4 defeat in two hours and 16 minutes.

The more experienced player prevailed in the pivotal moments, serving at 70% and overpowering the Dane behind the second serve. Grigor saved all three break points and kept the pressure on Holger, who offered his opponent nine chances.

Holger Rune added Kenneth Carlsen to his coaching team.

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. Rune worked hard at the beginning of the Australian Open, defeating Yoshihito Nishioka 6-2, 4-6, 7-6, 6-4 in three hours and 25 minutes.

The Japanese stayed in touch after the opener and missed his chance in the third set. Rune broke early in the fourth set and served well to bring the victory home after losing serve once and securing three breaks. Holger's campaign ended in the second round against world no.

122 Arthur Cazaux, falling 7-6, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3. Arthur outplayed the top-10 rival, landing 18 aces and 50 winners to control the pace. Rune fought well despite minor knee issues, getting broken three times and suffering an early exit.

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

Holger returned to Europe and took a wild card for the ATP 250 event in Montpellier. The youngster faced Pablo Llamas Ruiz in the second round and scored a 7-5, 6-2 win, prevailing in the opener and breaking the rival's resistance in the second set.

Rune fired 17 aces against Michael Mmoh in a 7-6, 6-4 quarter-final triumph. The Dane suffered one break and delivered two breaks to wrap up the win in straight sets. Holger experienced an arm injury against Borna Coric in the semi-final, trailing 6-3, 4-1 and retiring.

Rune played the Ultimate Tennis Showdown in Oslo last weekend and will compete again on Wednesday at the ATP 500 event in Rotterdam. "Kenneth and I have known each other very well for a long time. It's great to have him by my side.

I can confirm Kenneth will be a permanent part of my team. He will work with me on a full-time base, regardless of my next moves and possible additions to my coaching staff. Kenneth is a great coach, and I feel very comfortable on the court with him," Holger Rune said.

Holger Rune