Moutet edges out youngster Rune to sign off UTS1 with a win

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Frenchman Corentin Moutet edged out Danish youngster Holger Rune in sudden death to sign off from UTS1 with a hard-fought win.

The Tornado cruised through the first two sets but 17-year-old Rune, deputising for Italian Matteo Berrettini, hit back brilliantly to force sudden death, only to lose it 3-2 as Moutet bowed out on a positive note with a 13-12, 17-12, 8-20, 7-15, 3-2 victory.

The win gives the Frenchman a 3-4 record in the competition while former French Open junior champion Rune showed more than enough to suggest he has a big future in UTS and in the tennis world.

The trick shots were there but the temper was largely in check as Moutet, who has been one of the stars of UTS1, focused only on winning his final match.

In the early stages, it looked like he would run away with it as Rune showed understandable nerves on his debut in the innovative competition. But the Dane, “The Machine”, who won the junior title at the French Open last summer, soon looked very much at home on the courts of the Mouratoglou Academy and he won the last three points to force a deciding point only to miss a forehand to hand Moutet the advantage.

“It’s tough to play against a young player, it’s a little more stressful,” Moutet said. “He’s playing really fast. I’m a little more tight so it makes it a little more different.”

Moutet Corentin UTS

Neither man was able to make best use of their winner x 3 card but the Tornado took the second quarter with relative ease to double his lead.

“I’m playing much better, I’m more relaxed and I’m serving a little better,” Moutet said.

Rune hits back

After slow starts in each of the first two quarters, Rune began the third quarter much better and seven points in a row put him up 9-4. With a good serve and a huge forehand, the Dane pushed Moutet around the court and the Frenchman began to look frustrated.

Holger Rune, UTS 2020

At 5-9, Moutet tried to serve and volley with his winner x3 card but it didn’t pay off and Rune marched through the rest of the quarter to get on the board.

“Let’s go,” Rune said. “It feels really good, I started playing much better.”

Moutet said he had saved some energy for the fourth quarter but it seemed like he lost rhythm as Rune roared through it to win it 15-7 and force sudden death.

The Dane had to ask the commentators what the rules were while Moutet said simply: “I’m going to win it”.

And win it he did – just – saving two match points and clinching victory when Rune sent a backhand just over the baseline.

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