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“Worst way to win a final” – Holger Rune claims maiden ATP title as Botic van de Zandschulp retires with injury

Holger Rune claimed his maiden ATP title when Botic van de Zandschulp was forced to retire after seven games

Holger Rune winning in Munich Holger Rune of Denmark kisses the trophy after winning the final match against Botic Van De Zandschulp of the Netherlands at the Tennis ATP tournament in Munich, Germany (© © Matthias Schrader / AP Photo / SIPA Press)

Bavarian International Tennis Championships | Draw

It wasn’t the perfect ending that he had imagined, but nevertheless a wonderful day in Munich for Denmark’s Holger Rune. The 19-year-old claimed his maiden ATP title when Botic van de Zandschulp was forced to retire from the final due to injury after seven games.

Rune becomes the youngest champion at Munich since 1988, and the third youngest champion in tournament history. He is the first Dane to win an ATP title since Kenneth Carlsen in 2005.

Rune – worst way to win a final

“This was probably the worst way to win a final,” Rune told the crowd after the final. “I was obviously expecting a really tough match, and he came out really strong, and all of a sudden something happened to him. For now I just wish him the best, a speedy recovery – we all hope to see him back on court very soon.”

Rune’s efforts may have been abbreviated on Sunday, but he earned his way to the title in stunning fashion. He started his campaign with his first career top 10 victory, knocking off Alexander Zverev, 6-3, 6-2, in the second round, and did not drop a set the rest of the way.

He dropped just 28 games in his four contests at the BMW Open.

Against Van de Zandschulp he had just broken serve for 3-4 in the opening set when the Dutchmen went off court for a medical timeout. After a long break the 26-year-old returned, but could only play a few more points before calling it quits.

“I’m super happy of course,” Rune said. “As I said not the way I want it to end, but if I look through the week, what a week. I played some unbelievable tennis, I was really fighting my way through it and to be playing here in Munich and winning my first ATP title in front of such a brilliant crowd, I couldn’t really ask for more.”

Rune is projected to make his top 50 debut on Monday, and will join Carlos Alcaraz as one of two teenagers inside the ATP’s top 50.

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