Holger Rune made a thrilling comeback to win against the fourth seed, Casper Ruud, in the Italian Open semi-finals, securing a spot in the final. Despite being a set and a break down, the 20-year-old Dane overhauled his opponent, who had two previous semi-finals appearances in Rome and had reached the French Open final. Rune, who eliminated top seed Novak Djokovic in the quarter-finals, showed strong resilience and determination on the court.
The final’s opponent for Rune would be determined based on the weather-delayed match between Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas. The persistent weather conditions throughout the tournament were expected to disrupt the women’s final between Elena Rybakina and Anhelina Kalinina as well.
Rune’s victory against Ruud was his first win in their five clay-court matches. He mentioned feeling relaxed and free when he believed he was losing the match, which turned out to be the turning point of his comeback. Rune attributed his success in the tournament to his ability to raise his game during crucial moments and praised the difficulty of playing against top players.
In a closely contested first set that lasted 69 minutes, Ruud won the tiebreaker, but Rune made a comeback in the second set after facing some challenges and regaining his focus after a three-minute medical timeout for treatment on his right shoulder. Eventually, Rune surged forward, winning in a light drizzle.
With this win, Rune enters his eighth ATP final and his third of the season. He previously won the Paris Bercy tournament in November and was the runner-up in Monte Carlo in April. Ruud expressed his disappointment with his performance but acknowledged the aggressive style of play exhibited by Rune.
As Rune prepares for the final, Ruud aims to put the loss behind him and focus on his future matches. Both players showcased their skills and love for clay-court tennis, treating the audience to memorable rallies throughout the match.