Holger Rune is one of the most promising youngsters on the ATP tour at the moment, with some stunning victories in recent times. But at the same time, the Dane also has his fair share of detractors who do not enjoy his attitude on the court.
The number of those critics has only increased this year, mainly thanks to the way his quarterfinal clash against Casper Ruud at the French Open unfolded. At one point, Rune yelled at his mother to leave the stadium. He also snubbed Ruud at the end during the handshake, earning him a lot of criticism.
Speaking in a recent interview with Ekstra Bladet, however, the World No. 28 defended his actions. Rune stated that it was not out of the ordinary for a player as young as himself to behave on the court in such a manner.
The teenager brought up the universally-loved Roger Federer to prove his point, remarking that the 20-time Grand Slam champion was much worse behaved than him at the same age.
"If you saw Roger Federer as a youngster, back then he was maybe 40 times worse than I was," Rune said.
Now that the Swiss has managed to make amends and transform himself into a fan favorite, though Rune sees no reason why he cannot do the same in the years to come.
"He is one of the most beloved tennis players on the tour," the Dane added. "So I think I have plenty of time to get an even better image."
The Dane went on to admit that he did sometimes end up showing too much passion on the tennis court. He hopes to dial it down a little in the future, adding that he will try his best to bring only the positive aspects of his personality out in the open hereafter.
"I have an extreme passion for this sport, and sometimes I show it too much. But I'm 19, I'm still young, and I work every day to bring out only the positive in my attitude, and that's a process," Holger Rune said.
"If all people were the same and thought the same, it would be horrible to live in this world" - Holger Rune
During the interview, Holger Rune also responded to critics who have accused him of showing no respect for the game. He made it clear that just because he has a different approach, it does not mean he is disrespectful to his opponents.
The Dane is of the opinion that such differences are important to add more variety to the sport, which would otherwise be too monotonous. Rune also expressed his gratitude to the fans who have had his back through thick and thin, adding that he really appreciates their support at all times.
"I just see it as differences, and I think that's nice. If all people were the same and thought the same, it would be horrible to live in this world. It's cool that you think what you want, and you like the character you like," Rune said. "Fortunately, I have many good Danish fans and followers who follow my career and want the best for me, and I really appreciate that."