Danish teen Holger Rune says he was excited to be back on court to play some exhibition events during the current tennis shutdown in a column for the International Tennis Federation website.
Holger Rune on returning to tennis through exhibition events
The 17 year old Rune played exhibition events in Denmark and Sweden.
In the column for the ITF, Rune spoke about the excitement of leaving for a tournament as well his performances on the court. "I packed my bags and left for my first tournament in three months. It wasn’t a long journey, just a couple of hours drive, and I didn’t have to leave Denmark but the feeling… wow, how I have missed this feeling.
A mix of happiness, joy, nerves, all the emotions were back in my body and mind. The feeling of practising without a goal had hit me. Somehow, I lost track of my development. Had I improved at all when practising? Was I better or worse now than before the lockdown? I wasn’t able to measure my development and I wasn’t able to test myself in matches like I normally do."
Rune lost in the semi-finals of the first event he played in Denmark and says, "I was so upset. But it was a good reminder that tennis is not like learning to walk or ride a bike. Tennis has so many aspects: technical, physical, tactical, mental.
And also the small routines before and during matches are so important in order to perform your best. I had a good talk with my mom. She is always very honest with me. Sometimes this can be very annoying, especially when she says things I know are right but don’t want to hear.
We talked about how important it is for me to be myself on court. Always be loyal to my game and my personality. And if I lose then ok. But losing not playing my game and not being myself on court is just a horrible feeling."
Rune went on to win his next event in Denmark and then travelled to Sweden for two exhibition events which he won. "When I look back at this whole lockdown, naturally it has been a disaster for the world, for human beings and for businesses, but finding the positives I will say that during these months I have developed in many aspects.
And not just on court. These aspects I think are crucial for getting results in professional tennis and looking back I maybe wasn’t as ready at the beginning of the year as I thought I was. So naturally I am excited to start competing again."
From Sweden, Rune travelled to the Mouratoglou Tennis Academy. "Last week I left for the Mouratoglou Tennis Academy. It’s so great to be back here. I really like the atmosphere and the people around. And the level of players is fantastic.
Right now, they have the UTS tournament here. So, I have practised with both Tsitsipas and Berrettini." Rune also took part in the UTS as a replacement for Matteo Berrettini in one match. Holger Rune won the 2019 French Open boys singles title and the 2019 ITF Junior Finals.
Last year, he also became the 6th youngest player to win an ATP Challenger match in the 21st century at the age of 16 years, 1 month and 18 days old.