The tennis world has been left baffled after a frosty exchange was reportedly picked up between three-time grand slam champion Stan Wawrinka and young phenom Holger Rune at the Paris Masters.
Wawrinka has returned to form since his ATP comeback in 2022 and managed to earn three match points against the Danish 19-year-old.
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However, Rune showed why he is tipped as a future star and battled back to win the opening round at the Paris Masters 4-6, 7-5, 7-6.
While the drama appeared to be over as the duo approached the net, Wawrinka shook hands with Rune and gave the teenager a word in a frosty exchange.
And Eurosport footage appeared to pick up the Swiss champ warning Rune about his behaviour.
"My advice to you is that you stop acting like a baby on the court," Wawrinka apparently said.
Rune appeared taken aback at the words and nodded.
The Danish prospect has certainly ruffled some feathers during his short time on the ATP Tour. But the humble grand slam winners words towards Rune certainly came as a shock to the tennis community.
Maybe it’s more advice to a younger player. Improve attitude on court and become a better player.
— ryan humphrey (@ryanhump3) November 2, 2022
I don't like how Rune behaves on court and it's not arrogant to give him a feedback about that ! Typical Tennis-Kid that has to learn respect for other players and referees ☝️
— Hagi (@3rdWonderland) November 2, 2022
Well said Stan. Straight to the point and no fuss about it. I would have said it in locker room without cameras around but I believe the veterans of the tour have the responsibility to let the youngsters know when their attitude is problematic.
— Francis Aubry (@aubrenam) November 2, 2022
Disappointed in Stan... I didn't expect this from him
— Mia (@Mia44778350) November 2, 2022
Holger Rune praises Stan Wawrinka after encounter
While Eurosport released the audio, Rune's mother didn't believe Wawrinka had called her son a 'baby'.
“It is hard to imagine that a sportsman like Stan would have said that,” his mother Aneke told Danish broadcast TV2.
“Then he would come across as an uncommonly bad loser. Holger has only mentioned that he wished him well with the results of the past weeks.”
And despite the apparent exchange, Rune also wished Wawrinka well after the match on social media.
"What a fight. Stan Wawrinka is an incredible fighter and I am grateful be on to the second round."
Rune defeated Hubert Hurkacz in the Round of 32 and will now face Andrey Rublev.
— Holger Rune (@holgerrune2003) November 2, 2022
While the teen didn't appear to be showing any unusual behaviour against Wawrinka, Rune has sparked controversy in the past.
The most recent encounter came during his tight match at Roland Garros against World No.2 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.
Following his defeat, Rune accused his opponent of showing a lack of respect, by coming right up to his face in the locker room and taunting him about the win.
“He just went straight up to me and shouted “YEEEESSSS” right up in my face,” Rune said.
“You can cheer on the court all you want and be happy. I do that myself when I win. But that’s such bad style. Have some respect”, he added.
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