Emerging tennis star Holger Rune admits that eighth-seeded Caspar Rudd needs to improve his “emotion control” after an unsatisfactory exit from the Roland-Garos in the quarter-finals.
The Danish teenager lost 6-1 4-6 6-6 (6-2) 6-3 to Rudd in a thrilling fight on Wednesday.
Throughout the match, Rune became angry, repeatedly shouting at himself and the umpire, and apparently scolding his mother for kicking him out of his player’s box.
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The animosity between the players reached a boiling point during the post-match cold war in the net, with Rune rushing through a handshake. Ruud later shook his head and gave an unwelcome response.
But the allegations did not end there.
Rune has since claimed that Rudd was “so sporty during the match”, constantly talking to the 19-year-old on the court.
“I didn’t want to hug him after the match. He got a high-five and then I just had to move away from him,” Rune told the Danish newspaper Extra Bladet.
He further added that Norwegians later insulted him in the locker room.
“(Caspar) went straight to me and shouted ‘yes’ in my face,” he said.
“You can cheer and be happy on the court whatever you want. I do it myself when I win. But it’s such a bad style. Have some respect.”
Rudd’s father, who is also his coach, dismissed Locker Room’s allegations as “pure lies,” while the seven-time ATP champion himself said Rune needed to “grow up.”
“I don’t know Holger personally, but I’ve seen on TV that sometimes there can be a lot of drama,” Rudd told Norwegian tabloid VG.
“He’s young and new, so it’s forgivable, but when you’re on a big stage, it may be time to get a little older.”
Widely criticized for poor sports behavior on the net, Rune appeared on Thursday to address his behavior in an Instagram post.
“I gave my heart and soul to every match in Paris,” he wrote.
“I put a lot of passion into my work because that’s how I am. I’m proud of my development and I can see that there is still something better to be done.
“I did not find my level in the quarter-finals and it is disappointing. I still have to find a way to win and it requires more emotional control. I will be aware of this and improve.
“Let development continue and focus on the positive.”
Nevertheless, there is still controversy over what happened in the locker room after the match.
“(Holger) is wrong,” Rudd told Eurosport.
“What he said was not what really happened. We were both in the dressing room after the match, and it was obviously a huge dressing room. There were a lot of players, so we were in our own part of the room all the time.”
“I took an ice bath, ate some pizza and listened to music before we got home, while Holger was sitting in his part of the dressing room.
“It’s just a lie how he made up my mind to shout ‘yes’ directly to my face. It never happened. It’s a big lie. It’s frustrating that he made up lies about me.”
“For me, it doesn’t matter if he thinks I’m a player who doesn’t follow fair play rules, it doesn’t really matter.
“It’s his personal opinion, but it’s not right to lie about me like that. I really want him to do this one last time.”
The two rivals have met for the fourth time, a record 4-0.
Next Saturday, he will play No. 8 in the world against 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic for a place in the final.
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