What Holger Rune and Carlos Alcaraz are saying about each other ahead of their historic Wimbledon clash

Two 20-year-olds will go head-to-head in a Wimbledon men’s quarter-final for the first time in Open Era history. Here’s what they are saying about each other.

Carlos Alcaraz and Holger Rune 2022 JB Autissier / Panoramic

For the first time in Wimbledon’s men’s singles Open Era history, two 20-year-olds will square off in a quarter-final when Carlos Alcaraz and Holger Rune square off for a spot in the final on Wednesday. Alcaraz, the world No 1 and top seed, and Rune, the No 6 seed, have not played since last year’s Paris Masters, when Rune defeated the Spaniard 6-3, 6-6 RET en route to his maiden Masters 1000 title.

The pair also met in the 2021 Next Gen ATP finals title match with Alcaraz prevailing in straight sets.

Being from the same age group, the two phenoms know each other well, and even played on the same side of the court as doubles partners when they were 12 years old, on a slightly smaller stage at the Les Petits As junior competition in France.

Both players spoke about that moment in their respective press conferences on Monday, and shared their thoughts on their history – and rivalry. Scroll down for more quotes from Alcaraz and Rune.

Alcaraz – We shared a lot of great moments

“I’m really excited about this match,” Alcaraz said after dispatching Matteo Berrettini, 3-6, 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 on Monday at Wimbledon. “We shared a lot of great moments. We played together since we were 12 years old. We’ve not texted each other, but obviously we know really well each other.

“I’m really excited about it. I think he’s the same.”

Asked if he could take one stroke from Rune’s game and add it to his own, he praised the Dane’s two-handed backhand.

“If I have to take some weapon from him, I’m going to say the backhand,” he said. “I’m not saying that my backhand is bad, no. I think he has a great backhand.”

And finally, Alcaraz talked about the characteristic that the pair share more than any other: passion for tennis.

“He has a lot of passion; he loves the game,” Alcaraz said. :He’s a really competitive guy, as well. I could describe him like this.”

Rune – He’s the same player, but a lot better

Rune also remembers the junior days with Alcaraz as well, and he gave his opinion on the difference between Alcaraz, then and now.

“He’s always been a very passionate player on the court, I would say, with a lot of energy,” he said. “A big forehand also in juniors.

“I think he’s the same, just so much better now. I think back then he was Carlos, now he’s Carlos. He’s the same, just improved very, very a lot and very quickly.”

Rune, one of three men aged 21 or younger in the quarter-finals at Wimbledon, believes it is great for tennis to have the youth pushing for breakthroughs on the sports’ biggest stages.

“I said it before: it’s great to see so many young players starting to do really good on the tour,” Rune said. “We played doubles one time in Les Petits As. Hopefully we can do it again, but now we’re going to battle against each other.”

Rune – Alcaraz is doing better than me

Rune is quick to admit that his rival is ahead of him at the moment, though he has closed the gap significantly from last year. He hopes to continue to do that in the weeks, months and years to come.

“I stay in the moment and I’m really, really eager to improve,” he said. “To be honest, it doesn’t feel like I’m going really fast. But also, you see Alcaraz, he’s doing even better than me.

“It’s in a different way. I feel like I’m pushing every day. Of course, I admire the good results I make, but I have really high ambitions.”

People in this post

Your comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *