ATP Munich: Holger Rune seeks title defense against surprising rival

Holger Rune will seek his second consecutive Munich crown against Botic Van De Zandschulp

by Jovica Ilic
ATP Munich: Holger Rune seeks title defense against surprising rival

Holger Rune is through to his seventh ATP final in Munich, moving a win away from the title defense. Holger faced Christopher O'Connell in the semi-final and earned a 6-3, 6-2 victory in an hour and 19 minutes. The young Dane will meet Botic Van De Zandschulp in the title clash, seeking his fourth ATP crown at 19.

Holger dominated with his first serve. He struggled on the second but defended all eight break points to mount the pressure on the other side. O'Connell dropped 43% of the points behind the initial shot to lose serve three times and finish his solid run in the last four.

Rune kicked off the encounter with a powerful serve and grabbed an early break in the next one after the rival's wild backhand. The Dane wrapped up the third game with a service winner to settle into a fine rhythm and forge a 3-0 advantage after eight minutes.

O'Connell survived deuces in game four and brought it home after Rune's poor drop shot to reduce the deficit and get his name on the scoreboard.

Holger Rune defeated Christopher O'Connell in the Munich Open semi-final.

The young gun squandered a 40-15 lead in the fifth game and experienced two break points.

Holger erased both with powerful forehand winners and fired another right after the serve to seal the game and forge a 4-1 advantage. The Aussie held at 15 in game six to reduce the deficit and earned two more break points in the next one.

Rune denied them with service winners and closed the game with another free point from his initial shot to move 5-2 in front. Christopher served to stay in the set in game eight and landed a service winner to prolong the action.

Holger held at 30 after the rival's forehand error to wrap up the set 6-3 after 41 minutes. Rune leveled the score at 1-1 in the second set with a forehand winner and drew the rival's forehand mistake in the next one to secure a break at 30 and open a 2-1 gap.

The Dane held at 15 in game four for 3-1 and landed a perfect drop shot winner two games later for 4-2. With nothing working his way, O'Connell faced three break points in the seventh game and placed a backhand wide on the first to push Rune 5-2 in front and closer to the finish line.

The Aussie forced the Dane's error in the eighth game and created two break chances. Holger saved them with winners before facing two more. Rune stayed calm, saved them and sealed the deal after O'Connell's backhand error to book a place in the title clash.

Holger Rune Botic Van De Zandschu