The feud between fan-favourite Stan Wawrinka and Holger Rune has resurfaced after the three-time grand slam winner won a fiery duel at Indian Wells. Rune pushed the veteran all the way in a grudge match from last year, but the Swiss player was able to lift and advance after a 6-2, 6-7, 7-5 battle.
However, the tension from Wawrinka's comments at the net when Rune won in Paris last year were dug up when the 19-year-old Danish tennis prodigy called him out. Last year, footage appeared to pick up the Swiss champ's warning Rune about his behaviour on tour.
"My advice to you is that you stop acting like a baby on the court," Wawrinka apparently said. Rune was clearly taken aback at the time and never addressed the comments.
This was the first time the pair met since the frosty exchange and Rune clearly hadn't forgotten Wawrinka's comments when he lost. After the pair shook hands at Indian Wells, Rune called out Wawrinka in a reversal of fortune.
Wawrinka appeared to ask Rune: "Are you okay?" when the duo shook hands. However, Rune wasn't impressed and was clearly harbouring resentment from their last meeting.
"Got nothing to say now?" Rune said at the net. Wawrinka shook the chair umpire's hand, before responding: "What you want me to say?"
Rune quickly packed his bags and exited court. However, the commentator called out Rune for his words.
"Well, unnecessary from Holger Rune at the net," he said. The tennis world was quick to react to the frosty exchange, which was a talking point before the match had even started.
Many claimed Rune needed to show more respect to Wawrinka, considering he is a great of the game and still on the ATP tour. Others felt Rune had the right to question Wawrinka, considering the 38-year-old did the same to him after his defeat last year.
In November, Stan told Rune to stop being a crybaby. Holger didn’t forget… https://t.co/I9c1I97CSj
— José Morgado (@josemorgado) March 13, 2023
Rune to Wawrinka after losing to the 🇨🇭: “You got nothing to say now? You got nothing to say now?”
Wawrinka responding with: “What do you want me to say?”
Rune has to learn to appreciate these battles against legends of the sport, not act like he did today pic.twitter.com/I6Y1kMS9eL
— TennisSection (@Tennis_Section) March 13, 2023
Very unnecessary from Holger Rune at the end of the match vs Stan Wawrinka!! 😯 pic.twitter.com/5uGuetmJKk
— GAME TO LOVE (@GTLTennis) March 13, 2023
This isn’t to say Wawrinka’s criticism was at all gracious after Rune’s victory at the back end of last year. But he seems to have put that heat of the moment instant in the past. Rune could at least have the courtesy to acknowledge Wawrinka asking if he is okay. #TennisParadise
— Archie (@archieoreilly_) March 13, 2023
— Court Theory 🎾 (@Court_Theory) March 13, 2023
“You got nothing to say now?” asks Rune.
“What do you want me to say?” responds Wawrinka.
Not the best of friends, these two. 👀
— Racquet (@racquetmagazine) March 13, 2023
Wow...Rune just challenged Wawrinka at the net a little bit.
— Zachary Cohen (@_ZCO) March 13, 2023
— Ji-Min Lee (@JmlJourno) March 13, 2023
What the hell is wawrinka supposed to say? lol Rune is so weird
— João Caldas (@jonycaldas96) March 13, 2023
The Danish prospect has certainly ruffled some feathers during his short time on the ATP Tour, but in their match last year, the teen didn't appear to be showing any unusual behaviour against Wawrinka. However, Rune has sparked controversy in the past, which included in an encounter at Roland Garros against Casper Ruud.
The Dane was condemned for barely shaking his opponent's hand after the match, and apparently shouting at his mother so she would leave the stands during the match. Wawrinka will now go on to play either Jannik Sinner or Adrian Mannarino in the next round.
Felix Auger-Aliassime cops hit during Indian Wells match
Elsewhere at Indian Wells, Canadian player Felix Auger-Aliassime accidentally hit himself in the chin with his racquet and required stitches in unusual scenes. Auger-Aliassime will be looking to run deep into the ATP 1000 event in the warm conditions after defeating Francisco Cerundolo 7-5, 6-4.
The Canadian got off to a brilliant start in the first set as he jumped to a 2-0 lead. However, disaster struck when the 22-year-old copped some friendly-fire and clipped himself on the chin when returning Cerundolo's serve.
Auger-Aliassime was bleeding from the chin and needed immediate assistance as he returned to the bench and was forced to receive stitches. However, despite the painful interruption, Auger-Aliassime remained steadfast and held onto to take the first set.
On court stitches? Never seen anything like this. https://t.co/q2e1cvhaFb
— José Morgado (@josemorgado) March 13, 2023
The Canadian stepped it up in the second and played more aggressive tennis. Despite failing to serve out the match the first-time, the No.8 seed converted his match points and was able to cement his spot in the fourth round of the ATP 1000 event.
While many were impressed with the Canadian's front-foot tennis, the bizarre sequence of receiving stitches certainly caught the attention of many. Rafa Nadal famously hit himself in the nose at the US Open last year - and needed a short break - but didn't need stitches.
Tennis reporter Jose Morgado claimed he had never seen a player receive stitches during a match. Others joked that they had also been in a similar spot to Auger-Aliassime after accidentally hitting themselves while playing tennis.
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