Holger Rune, having already been hailed as a very bright prospect in the world of tennis, has more than just shown his potential, but now hinted his prospects as a teenager might well reap benefits earlier rather than later.
But it was a really hard match, we played a lot of rallies and I’m really happy about my performance today Holger Rune
The 18-year-old Dane, world ranked 70, required just 99-minutes to defeat the world No.3 Alexander Zverev 6-3 6-2 in the second round of the BMW Open by American Express, being held in Munich.
Zverev, the tennis Olympic Gold Medallist and former two-time Munich champion, arrived full of confidence having made the semi-finals of Monte Carlo and placed at the top of the draw.
The loss proved a surprise to him and he even went as far as to apologise to the fans for what he must have decided was a poor performance.
“I’m sorry. I’m sorry for the spectators, I’m sorry for the tournament,” Zverev told the media in what his first ever opening match loss in Munich.
“If I try to find an excuse now, I’m not the smartest person in the world,” he added. “I was incredibly nervous today before the match. It was my first time in Germany in front of a crowd for years. I would have lost against anyone in the main draw today.”
Zverev wouldn’t have intentionally been disrespectful to a youngster who is still learning his trade but who obviously has the game to take out and record his first win over a top ten player.
“It was a difficult match from the beginning,” said Rune on court. “He’s in the top three in the world and has been playing some unbelievable tennis, especially in the past year winning so many big titles. I have a lot of respect for him, and I obviously didn’t expect to win in two sets, and with a score like this.
“But it was a really hard match, we played a lot of rallies and I’m really happy about my performance today.”
Rune, a wild card entry, had defeated the Czech qualifier Jiri Lehecka in the first-round while Zverev, as the top seed, had enjoyed a bye.
The Danish teenager broke the German in the second game to lead 3-0 and at 5-3 held six set points, squandering four of them with unforced errors.
Zverev was able to save the fifth with a winner, before Rune converted the sixth with a volley.
The youngster took control of the second set early with two breaks to sweep into a 5-1 lead completing his victory two games later for his first back-to-back wins at an ATP event in what was his fifth tournament.
Rune, who turns 19 on Friday, will next face in the quarter-finals, the Finn Emil Ruusuvuori, ranked 63rd in the world, who defeated American Maxime Cressy, ranked 65th, 6-3 6-3.
Also through to the last eight are Serbia’s Miomir Kecmanovic who beat another German, Daniel Altmaier 6-2 6-4 and the defending champion from Georgia, Nikoloz Basilashvili, the fourth seed, 3-6 6-2 6-4.