Bad first set leads to Rune’s ruin at Cinch Championships

(Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
(Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images) /

Holger Rune could have possibly set up a final of two 20-year-olds at the Cinch Championships but he lost in the semifinals to Alex De Minaur 3-6 6-7(2-7). Rune was playing from behind from the start of the match as he opened by being broken at love in the first set. He could never really recover from being down 0-3 in the first set.

Rune’s first serve was extremely poor in the first set as he won only 52 percent of those serves. But lots of credit should go to De Minaur who covers the court like few others and whose forehand was spot on. In fact, De Minaur was playing so perfectly in the first set that the match seemed like it might go extremely quickly.

It should also be noted that Rune appeared to have some kind of issue with his left foot. While Rune covered the court pretty well, too, sometimes when he planted to drive shots the shots weren’t as pure as they normally are for him. But De Minaur was also simply the better player on Saturday.

Holger Rune falls to Alex De Minaur in semifinals at Cinch Championships

29 of De Minaur’s serves Rune could not return and De Minaur had 19 winners compared to 14 for Rune. De Minaur seemed to be able to place the ball exactly where he needed to in key points and in the second-set tie-break De Minaur just overwhelmed him. Rune was probably glad for the match just to be over and now he can focus on Wimbledon which starts in a bit over a week.

Still, it would have made for a fun Sunday final if Rune could have won and then Carlos Alcaraz can win his semifinal match. The two 20-year-old players might be battling for majors for years to come so Sunday would be one more glimpse at the future of tennis.

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De Minaur, however, will be a worthy foe for Alcaraz or Alcaraz’s semifinal opponent, Sebastian Korda. That said, Korda and De Minaur are also young enough (Korda is 22 and De Minaur ancient at 24) where they should be in the mix of good players moving forward for the next five years or more.