Rune Earns Much-Needed Win In Basel

  • Posted: Oct 24, 2023

Rune Earns Much-Needed Win In Basel

Dane is eighth in Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin

Can one win change the course of a season?

Holger Rune will be hoping that is the case after he earned just his second victory in nine matches on Tuesday to reach the second round at the Swiss Indoors Basel, boosting his Nitto ATP Finals qualification chances.

The Dane battled hard to claw past Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic 1-6, 7-5, 6-3 at the ATP 500 event in Switzerland, where he rallied from a set and a break down to triumph after two hours and two minutes. Rune trailed 3-4 in the second set but broke back before sealing the set on his third set point. He did not face a break point in the third set, striking 12 winners in the decider.

With his victory, he set a second-round meeting against Sebastian Baez, while he also increased his Nitto ATP Finals qualification chances. The 20-year-old is eighth in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin, 90 points ahead of ninth-placed Taylor Fritz. Aiming to make his debut at the prestigious year-end event, Rune is currently occupying the final qualification position.

“I am happy I kept fighting and turned the match around,” Rune said. “I tried to raise my level. I always enjoy playing here.”

The top seed enjoyed a strong first half of the season. He lifted the trophy in Munich, reached the final in Rome and the quarter-finals at Roland Garros and Wimbledon. However, he has struggled to find any form since Wimbledon in July, arriving in Basel having lost seven of his past eight matches.

Rune would not be deterred against Kecmanovic though, earning his 39th tour-level win of the season, equalling his previous best mark (2022).

In the final match of the day on centre court, Alexander Shevchenko ousted home hero Stan Wawrinka 6-3, 7-6(8). The qualifier was clutch on the most critical points, saving three of the four break points he faced while converting three of his five opportunities.

Shevchenko lost a set in the first round of qualifying against Fabio Fognini, but has won five consecutive sets to reach the second round of the main draw.

“It ranks unbelievable, especially to beat Stan in Basel,” Shevchenko said of his victory. “When I was having a family dinner [as a kid], Stan was playing the Australian Open final and I remember how he played. And to beat him in Basel is something that I dreamed of, maybe.”

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