Renowned coach Patrick Mouratoglou, who has labored with stars together with Serena Williams and Simona Halep, recollects assembly Holger Rune when the Dane was 13. His first impression of Rune’s recreation was that he was an all-court participant with no strokes that stood out.
“The indisputable fact that he was doing so effectively by way of outcomes acquired my curiosity as a result of there may be all the time a cause for that,” Mouratoglou, who’s Rune’s coach alongside Lars Christensen, informed ATPTour.com. “I bear in mind seeing him play factors with guys and I believed ‘Oh, okay. I get it now.’
That ‘it’ was not associated to method or his strokes in any respect. It was an intangible.
“Some guys have this competitiveness that’s at one other stage. They are capable of play their greatest when it’s vital,” Mouratoglou mentioned. “They’re capable of really feel the second when the man is extra burdened on the opposite facet and hold the ball within the court docket and let the man make the errors. Feel when is the second to push and speed up.”
Mouratoglou remembers discussing that with Rune and his crew, together with Christensen and mom Aneke Rune. His ardour stood out.
“I may really feel how a lot it was burning inside, which is sort of uncommon to have. It’s humorous as a result of I’m in contact with a variety of younger gamers as you’ll be able to think about at my academy and I all the time ask them about their hobbies,” Mouratoglou mentioned. “Lots of guys say, ‘Oh, I really like to do that and that.’ I say, ‘Do you watch some tennis?’ And they are saying, ‘Oh no, I play tennis all day, I’m not going to observe tennis.’ I all the time assume it’s unhappy. I don’t choose, however to go to the highest of the sport, I believe you must be a bit obsessive about what you’re doing, whether or not you’re a musician, an actor or a tennis participant.”
Rune, the Newcomer of the Year within the 2022 ATP Awards, additionally has nice self-belief. When he walks on court docket, no matter who his opponent is, he believes he can win. Mouratoglou mentioned that has been current from the start.
“First he had an unbelievable perception in his means to achieve his desires, which isn’t one thing quite common as a result of a variety of gamers are stuffed with doubt and so they don’t dare dreaming actually and believing that they will do it. He believed 100 per cent,” Mouratoglou mentioned. “Second, he was all about tennis. He’s coming to the tennis, he’s doing all of the issues and at any time when he has free time he watches tennis. He thinks tennis, he’s actually obsessive about the game and I believe that’s what makes the greats nice and all of the greats everyone knows, they’re the identical. They are actually, actually passionate.”
A chief instance of Rune’s self-belief got here on the 2021 US Open, the place the Dane was making his Grand Slam debut. Novak Djokovic was attempting to finish the calendar-year Grand Slam, and Rune was his first opponent.
“My aim isn’t just to play right here,” Rune informed ATPTour.com forward of their first-round conflict. “My aim is to win this event, even many instances.”
“First of all for those who don’t consider you’ll win, you’ll be able to play 10 instances higher than the opposite man, you’re not going to win,” Mouratoglou mentioned. “And it’s simple to say, it’s not simple to essentially do.”
According to Mouratoglou, it makes him assume again to a narrative about Djokovic he all the time tells.
“There was a time when there have been two guys who have been on prime of the world, Roger and Rafa. They have been profitable the whole lot. We all bear in mind this era, the whole lot. All the Top 10s at the moment have been saying privately, ‘[It is] unimaginable to win a Grand Slam, we are able to’t beat these guys. They’re simply too good,’” Mouratoglou mentioned. “Novak arrived, he was 19. First time he performed Roger in a Grand Slam he was interviewed the day earlier than and he mentioned, ‘I’m going to beat him.’ I bear in mind the press individuals have been robust on him. ‘Oh, who does he assume he’s?’ This man, he simply believed in himself.
“He didn’t win that match, however he occurred to lastly win many towards them and turn into No. 1 on the earth. So I believe this can be a actually particular factor. The immense majority of the gamers don’t consider and even when they consider sooner or later, their perception isn’t very sturdy. So once they hit the wall one, two, thrice, they cease believing.”
Mouratoglou believes that the gamers who attain the highest of the game have “a very, actually sturdy perception of their means to beat the perfect and turn into the perfect”. That is why he likes Rune’s psychological strategy.
“I really like this angle and it’s not disrespect in any respect as a result of he has the very best respect for these champions,” Mouratoglou mentioned. “But he believes in his talents and it’s a fantastic factor and he ought to 100 per cent hold that.”