Holger Rune cops grand slam reality check in French Open 'disaster'

Tennis fans were left stunned by the shocking scenes at the French Open.

Pictured left to right, Norwegian tennis star Casper Ruud and Holger Rune.
Norwegian tennis star Casper Ruud defeated Holger Rune in a wild French Open quarter-final. Pic: Getty

Denmark's Holger Rune has crashed out of the French Open after a wild quarter-final defeat to Norwegian Casper Ruud at Roland Garros. In a clash between fourth seed Ruud and his sixth-seeded opponent, it was the former who booked a semi-final date with Alexander Zverev after a stunning 6-1 6-2 3-6 6-3 win.

Zverev beat unseeded Argentine Tomas Martin Etcheverry 6-4 3-6 6-3 6-4 in the day's other last-eight showdown. The German let out his emotions after the victory, having sealed a spot in another French Open semi-final, one year after a horrendous injury against Rafa Nadal that left him in a wheelchair on Court Philippe Chatrier.

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The German's opponent in the last four this time will be Ruud, who put on an absolute clinic against an out-of-sorts Rune, despite a mini-fightback from the Danish player. Sixth-seed Rune, who had beaten Ruud at the Italian Open last month, littered the court with 26 unforced errors in a disastrous first two sets.

Rune's horror start saw him commit five double faults and a staggering 18 unforced errors in the first set alone. It took Ruud just a little more than an hour to coast away with a two-sets-to-love lead, with Rune's extraordinary collapse leaving French Open viewers in disbelief.

Holger Rune 'disaster' leaves tennis fans in shock

The Dane finally rediscovered his power, aim and aggression to pull a set back in the third but any hopes a comeback were quickly extinguished by Ruud, as the Norwegian rolled through the fourth set with ease. Viewers were left in shock at the display from the young grand slam fancy Rune, who was ultimately left to rue an uncharacteristically poor opening two sets.

Casper Ruud sets up semi-final against Alexander Zverev


Ruud's victory saw him end the French Open campaign of his 20-year-old opponent for the second consecutive year, setting up a blockbuster semi-final showdown with Zverev. The pair had met at the same stage in a bad-tempered match in 2022 with Ruud emerging victorious in four sets before falling in the final to 14-time champion Rafael Nadal.

"Very, very relieved. I came into this match trying to play without pressure but it is not easy playing a big match against Holger who is playing very aggressively," Ruud said. "The three sets I won today were a really good level. I feel my game is improving match by match."

Zverev rolled into the semis at Roland Garros almost exactly one year after leaving the grand slam at the same stage in a wheelchair. The 26-year-old was in excruciating pain after suffering a serious ankle injury against Nadal 12 months ago and had surgery to repair his ligaments.

Seen here, Alexander Zverev at the French Open.
Alexander Zverev booked his spot in the French Open semi-finals. Pic: Getty

The German's return was further delayed in September due to a bone issue and he only began playing pain-free earlier this season, with the victory over Etcheverry futher proof that the German is getting back to his best. "I don't think about it. I'm going on court to win tennis matches," Zverev said.

"I'm not thinking about what happened last year. I have to talk about it a lot obviously, that's fine. Grand slams are tennis history. That's what you play for.

"I think the two most important things in tennis are grand slams and the Olympic Games. I'm happy to be playing the way I'm playing here in Paris ... I'm extremely happy with how things are going, but the tournament is not over yet."

with agencies

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