We are so exited to share with you our first interview ever on http://www.tennisfreaks.net! Our first guest is a very special and talented player. You might know him already, Holger Rune!
Full name: Holger Vitus Noedskov Rune
Date of birth: April 29 2003
Place of birth: Denmark
Racket type: Babolat
String: RPM Blast 130
Right or left handed? Right
One or double handed backhand? Double handed
Favorite surface: All 🙂
Favorite Grand Slam: All 🙂
Age started playing tennis: 6
Favorite player growing up: Nadal and Federer, later Djokovic and the young guns. Here is an article we published before, Holger´s mother talking about that Holger was such a huge Roger Federer fan. Click Here to read it.
What is the speed of the fastest serve you’ve ever hit during a match? 220 km per hour
Career high ITF Juniors: Number 1 on 2019, 2020 and 2021
Career high ATP
ATP profile of Holger Rune: Here
Favorite motivational quote:
Do it with passion or not at all!
How did you decide to start tennis?
My sister Alma played tennis and I watched a lot of her matches in Denmark and I wanted to play also but I was not allowed to start in the local club before I turned 6.
It’s not an easy or cheap sport to start. Did you want to become this good since the start?
Yes, I want to be best at everything I do. In school, skateboard, chess – you name it. I have a very difficult time not being the best. Right now I am the second highest ranked junior in ATP. I hate not being number 1. 2 is fine, 1 is better.
Tell us about your career so far:
Tennis is an individual sport but at this level, i’m sure you must work with a whole team of specialists like a tennis coach, fitness trainer, physio therapist and maybe even a mental coach. Could you introduce us to your team and tell us something about them?
I have worked with my coach since I started playing tennis. He was the boss in my club and we had a good energy and still have. I also practice at Mouratoglou Academy and their fitness coaches are very very good. They do some good programs that my coach and I work on when I am back in practice and when I am travelling for tournaments. I have 2 times used a mental coach on/off and I still do.
I use my mother a lot also. She is the one closest to me and its good talking to her. She is demanding but at the same time very loving. My hole family are very good to me. I have a very good relationship with my sister. Because she played tennis herself she understands all the emotions that I am going through during hard times and good times.
Let’s talk about your game. What kind of game style would you say you play?
Aggressive baseliner coming to/finishing at the net. This is the tennis I like the most to play. So this is what I work on
What are your strengths and what are you trying to improve?
Oh I only just turned 18. I try to improve everything everyday. I am not good or the best at any stroke yet. I seek perfection in everything I do. Sometimes to much 🙂
I know I have a good physic , a healthy body and my character is good in sports. I have passion for what I do and I am willing to put in the work. And believe me. It is hard work! Nobody is born a good tennis player but it is for sure easier to become good if you love what you do. And I do that.
Rate the following aspects of your game from 1-10
When rating I look at my age – and not comparing with Djokovic and the top tour players 🙂
How do you prepare for a match tactically? Do you scout your opponents and do you make a game plan for every match?
My coach is the one studying my opponents and make the tactical plan. I also take a brief look at them either live at tournaments or watching youtube etc. so I know what he is talking about. But mostly I try to focus on my own game.
How do you deal with with negative emotions coming up during a match? Is there a routine or certain reminders to refocus/regroup?
I think all players have negative emotions. No player becomes good without some perfectionism. And perfectionism can be your worst enemy in matches. Because in matches noting can be perfect. If you are lucky maybe one set in a hole year can be close to perfect. So chasing it and being angry about it is stupid. Never the less its these emotions that can distract in all matches. The perfectionism. I try to let go of it. Reminding myself that perfect is not possible and focus on my gameplan.
On average, how many hours do you practice/play tennis every day?
3,5 hours tennis and 2 hours physical (including stretching/flexibility) and then 1 hour recovery. One day off weekly.
Does it feel like work? Or is it still fun?
I love tennis. Its fun. It’s a game. But because of my gene that wants to be the best it´s also hard work. Nobody can become best at anything without hard work. But for me to have fun on court is important, never kill the passion with thinking it´s just work. So everything is a balance.
Maybe I would develop faster with less fun but I like it the way I do it. Everyone is different but sport is also fun. It´s important to remember I think.
What about your fitness schedule. How does that usually looks like?
It’s different. Sometimes I do 2 hours hard fitness before my tennis and then my tennis become so difficult because I am tired and I easier get irritated because my strokes are not so good because my legs are tired and then I can practice to stay cool – all the mental stuff. Other time I do physical after my tennis – so its different.
What is your best tennis memory ever?
In juniors winning European Championship, Roland Garros Junior and Masters Final. In senior I have not yet experienced the total high but I am working on it 🙂
Which tournament do you really want to win?
I want to win everything I play. That said for sure the Roland Garros is special because I won it in juniors, same with the masters final. But there are so many places where I like the atmosphere so I have a special feeling there. Mexico I loved in the juniors – so Alcapulco Atp is something I look forward to. Us open had a great atmosphere . I like being in Italy, so Rome Atp is on the wish list. Monaco is also one of my favorites. Hamburg. I have a very long list for the future. Many tournaments I would love to win.
What is the most important secret ingredient that tennis enthusiasts would not know about the life of a professional tennis player?
Talking for myself I am lazy. I work so hard on court but I am actually a little lazy. I am really good at relaxing :). If I was not playing tennis I would properly eat much to many ice creams and be chubby chasing being number one at something 🙂
What would you say is the biggest difference between a top ITF U18 player vs a top 100 player on the ATP tour?
100% the mentality
How is it different playing a top 10 player versus a top 200 player on the ATP tour? Is there a significant difference in their game or is it mostly the mental aspect?
I recently played against Casper Ruud 2 times and I must admit that the top 20 players have something more than the rest of the ATP players. They are simply more steady in what they do. No stupid tactically choices , solid, know their weapons and control them. Its very difficult to win points against them where I am now. But it’s a big inspiration playing against them because I want to master this as well.
The players in the top of the rankings are older and compared to some years before. How is it for you as a young guy to play these older and experienced players?
It depends. Some of the older player do not have the same physic as the younger players, so if you can get them in 3 sets you maybe have an opening. This is definitely not the case with the younger players. Every young player on tour today have a crazy physic. No one is easy to beat old and young. If you are top 100 or 200 atp this means you know what you do on court and in matches. And you get no presents. You have to win your points yourself. So for me age is just a number.
We are close to publish a book about how players can evolve their game and how they can take their tennis IQ to the next level. We would love to send you one when it´s ready Holger 🙂
Thank you very much for this interview and we are looking forward to see how your career will evolve even further!