Cruel loss for Holger Rune in spectacular final in Monte Carlo

The young Dane lost in three sets after leading 4-1 in the final set

Holger Rune didn’t bring home the winner’s trophy from Monte Carlo on Sunday, but the 19-year-old again underlined why he represents the future of tennis.

The Dane lost in three sets against Andrey Rublev – definitely his pet peeve after a dramatic loss at the Australian Open in January – allowing his Russian opponent to raise an ATP Masters 1000 trophy aloft for the first time in his career.

READ ALSO: Holger Rune knocked out of Australian Open in the cruellest of fashions

Title was Rune’s before Rublev comeback
Rune looked in control after winning the first set 7-5 – particularly as anger seemed to be getting the better of his opponent. But the Russian responded well, winning the second set 6-2.

And then again in the decider, with the Dane leading 4-1, it looked like there could only be one outcome, but Rublev dug in again, winning 7-5 after a fantastic comeback.

“I gave everything I had and it was close. I had my chances. It’s disappointing that I couldn’t close it out, but that’s tennis and I just have to see what I can change and move on,” Holger Rune told DR.

Expert: Rune will be a Grand Slam winner
Despite the loss, tennis experts all agree about Rune having a bright future. Grand slams and even a world number one ranking look increasingly likely.

“Holger Rune was afraid of winning and seemed perplexed. He was too busy deciding the points, and that caused unrest,” said Discovery’s tennis expert Michael Mortensen.

“But he once again emphasises that he is one of the best players in the world. Right now, the defeat is bitter, but he sends a signal that he is the man of the future”.

Impressing again and again
After an incredible end of season last year, the Dane is having a great start to the clay season. As a quarter-finalist in the French Open in 2022, Rune will be hopeful of going even further in May.

During his winner’s interview, Rublev flattered his young opponent – not least for achieving his best career ranking, as he is now the seventh best player in the world.

“I wanna congratulate Rune for the amazing week and your team. I mean, I know it’s tough to lose in the final – he was runner-up of the same tournament in 2021. But, man, you are too freaking young. You already have a 1000 title – at least give me one time to win it,” he joked.

First time as a defending champion in the ATP circuit
This Monday, the young Dane is off to Germany to take part in the BMW Open in Munich. Last year, Rune won the tournament after he received a wildcard, and he is among the favourites for this edition.

Closing in on his 20th birthday, he is the top seed and due to either play Thiago Monteiro or Yannick Hanfmann in the second round.