ATP Brisbane: Holger Rune edges Roman Safiullin, reaches final

Holger Rune will compete in his ninth ATP final

by Jovica Ilic
ATP Brisbane: Holger Rune edges Roman Safiullin, reaches final
© Bradley Kanaris / Stringer - Getty Images Sport

The young Dane Holger Rune is four from four in 2024. The top seed reached his ninth ATP final in Brisbane following a tight 6-4, 7-6 semi-final triumph over Roman Safiullin. Holger grabbed 12 points more than Roman, making the difference with his second serve.

The Dane lost serve once from two chances offered to his rival and delivered two breaks from seven opportunities. Safiullin barely lost a point behind the first serve. However, his second serve let him down, costing him a chance to force a decider and stay in contention.

Rune forged the advantage in the shortest range up to four strokes, and nothing separated them in the more extended ones. The Dane pushed strong on the return in the encounter's first game, welcoming the Russian's volley mistake and building an early advantage.

Holger fired an ace in the second game, cementing the advantage and moving 2-0 in front. The Dane held after deuces in game four, firing two winners and opening a 3-1 gap.

Holger Rune is through to his ninth ATP final in Brisbane.

Roman missed a routine forehand in the fifth game and offered Holger a break chance. Safiullin denied it after an extended rally, holding with a booming serve and remaining within one break deficit. Rune secured the sixth game at love with a service winner and held at 30 at 4-3 to stay in front.

Roman grabbed the ninth game at 30, prolonging the action and hoping for a late chance on the return. Instead, the young gun produced a fine hold at 5-4, bringing it home at love with a booming serve for 6-4 in 37 minutes. Like in the opener, Safiullin netted a forehand at the beginning of the second set, losing serve at 15 and pushing Holger closer to the finish line.

Holger Rune, Brisbane 2024© Bradley Kanaris / Stringer - Getty Images Sport

The Dane secured the second game with a booming serve, controlling the pace and marching toward the top. However, the top seed got broken in the fourth game after Roman's lucky net cord volley winner, losing the advantage and bringing his opponent back to 2-2.

Safiullin faced the ultimate test in the fifth game, playing against four break points. The Russian denied them with bold hitting and three winners, holding with an unreturned serve and moving 3-2 in front. The sixth game offered the final break point.

Holger denied it with a service winner and served to stay in the set at 4-5. The young gun held after deuce, locking the result at 5-5 and adding more drama. The set went into a tie break, and the Dane stood as the only player.

Rune opened a 3-0 gap with an ace down the T line and delivered another mini-break after Safiullin's backhand error. The Russian missed another backhand in the fifth point, and the Dane moved over the top with a service winner at 6-0.

Atp Brisbane Holger Rune Roman Safiullin