Holger Rune staged a remarkable comeback in the Italian Open semi-final, defeating fourth seed Casper Ruud after being a set and a break down.
The 20-year-old Dane, who had previously beaten top seed Novak Djokovic in the quarter-finals, overhauled Ruud, who had reached the French Open final last year and had two semi-final appearances in Rome. Rune’s victory marked his first win in five meetings with Ruud, all of which were played on clay.
Rune’s opponent in the final will be determined from the match between Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas, which was interrupted multiple times due to rain. Despite the weather delays, the men’s semi-final eventually resumed after four and a half hours of interruptions. However, the status of the women’s final between Elena Rybakina and Anhelina Kalinina remained uncertain due to changing conditions.
Reflecting on his comeback, Rune admitted that he relaxed when he believed all was lost on the court. He adopted a fearless and aggressive approach, which turned the tide in his favor. The young Dane expressed his satisfaction with his improved game during the tournament, particularly in the last two matches against top-ranked opponents.
The first set of the match between Rune and Ruud was tightly contested, with Ruud eventually clinching it in a tiebreaker after 69 minutes. In the second set, Rune faced a momentary setback when he lost his serve and called for a medical timeout to treat his right shoulder. However, the break seemed to rejuvenate him as he leveled the match and went on to dominate the third set, securing victory in a light drizzle.
Rune will be playing in his eighth ATP final, having previously won the title in Paris Bercy in November and finishing as the runner-up in Monte Carlo in April. Despite his defeat, Ruud acknowledged Rune’s aggressive play and vowed to move on from the match quickly.
Holger Rune’s impressive comeback against Casper Ruud in the Italian Open semi-final has set the stage for an exciting final, with Rune seeking to continue his strong performance and secure another tournament victory.