Another ATP Masters 1000 event, another deep run for Holger Rune.

The Dane defeated Top 5 stars Novak Djokovic and Casper Ruud at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia, before Daniil Medvedev stopped him in the title match. Despite disappointment in Sunday’s final, the 20-year-old leaves Rome holding a 13-3 record on clay this season, with plenty of positives heading into Roland Garros.

“My feeling right now is obviously not the best. But also I have to look at [what] has been a good clay season so far for me,” Rune said. “I made three finals out of four tournaments. In that way I can’t complain. As many of you guys know me now, I’m a very eager person to win titles. I’ve been close. Hopefully I will learn from it.”

Rune, who reached the final at the clay-court Masters 1000 event in Monte-Carlo last month, has climbed one spot to No. 6 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings following his run in Rome.

In a tight final, the seventh seed twice squandered a break advantage in the second set against Medvedev, who lifted his first clay-court tour-level trophy and sixth ATP Masters 1000 trophy. Rune was frustrated that he was unable to find his best level at all times against the 27-year-old.

“I think I was very nervous stepping into the match. Obviously came through from a great match yesterday [against Ruud]. Maybe I put too many expectations on myself, even though I told myself not to,” Rune said. “He played great. He played really solid from the back of the court… I’m happy for him. It’s his first title on clay. I think he has a good future also in clay. He’s a great player on all courts.”

Rune won only 52 per cent (17/32) of his first-serve points against Medvedev, losing serve four times.

“I served probably worse today than I did the recent matches,” Rune said. “That’s also a big factor because Medvedev, he likes to grind. If he gets a chance to grind, it’s going to be long rallies, as you saw some of the points were. Obviously a good serve is helping a lot against him. I couldn’t find it today.”

Rune will next head to Roland Garros, where he reached the quarter-finals last year. He shared his thoughts on who he thinks will be the main challengers for the title when asked by a journalist in Sunday’s press conference.

“I still think Novak [Djokovic] is the main favourite for the event,” Rune said. “He’s the one with the most Slams of who’s playing, the most experienced. Then we have [Carlos] Alcaraz. We have Medvedev. We have a lot of guys. I think if I have to pick one favourite, I’ll probably pick Novak.”

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