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‘He was thought of as an outside chance to win the title – it’s new for him’: Mouratoglou on how the pressure got to Rune at Roland-Garros

Mouratoglou has known Rune for many years and reflected on his disappointing result against Casper Ruud in the Roland-Garros quarter-final

Holger Rune Holger Rune (JB Autissier/Panoramic)

Patrick Mouratoglou says that the new position of being one of the chasing pack affected Holger Rune’s approach at Roland-Garros.

Unseeded last year, when he reached the quarter-final, this year the 20-year-old was the sixth seed. His fourth-round win over Francisco Cerundolo was his first in five sets, and the cumulative fatigue from the draining clay-court season contributed towards a sluggish start to his match against Casper Ruud.

“He played a lot of matches,” said Mouratoglou on France TV in quotes translated by Tennis Majors. “He lives all of them with a lot of intensity, mentally and physically, maybe this match was too much. He wasn’t connected with the match at the beginning, and it was more mental fatigue than physical.

“It was his first Grand Slam tournament as an outside chance. He was not the favourite but he was named as one of the players that could disturb Alcaraz and Djokovic. It’s very new for him and he has never been totally relaxed, that’s certain.”

Mouratoglou: He wasn’t there during the first two sets

Reflecting on the defeat to Ruud, the Frenchman said: “[Rune] didn’t have a good time yesterday and neither did I. He didn’t start the match as he should. You can even say that he wasn’t there during the first two sets. He started to play at two sets to love, then it was even. The two last sets were a great show, which was good because at some point we were afraid that people paid for their tickets and got a one-way match. So that was one set all with the two players doing well. Unfortunately it was too late because the result was three sets to one at this stage.

“It’s disappointing because we wanted a great fight from the beginning to the end, but in a quarter-final you can’t afford to lose two sets because you’re not there. There are a lot of things to learn from this event.”

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