Holger Rune suffered a scare when he turned his right ankle and tumbled to the court on Saturday at the Australian Open. The Dane quickly shook it off, though, and raced past Frenchman Ugo Humbert 6-4, 6-2, 7-6(5) to reach the fourth round at Melbourne Park for the first time.
It was a scary moment in the first game of the second set when Rune fell to the court and braced his fall with his wrist. But after receiving a visit from the physio, the 19-year-old quickly regained his composure and showed no ill effects inside John Cain Arena.
“I’m feeling better than I expected. I was a bit worried. My ankle is good but my wrist was hurting a bit, but the doctor checked me and he said it was fine, it’s nothing to worry about,” Rune said. “Of course it was painful, but I tried to focus on something else. I’m playing on such an amazing stage in the third round of a Grand Slam, so I didn’t think about it. I just kept going.”
For much of the match, the ninth seed was in control despite the big-serving Frenchman’s efforts. Rune won the rallies of 0-4 shots by a 71-55 margin against the powerful lefty.
It appeared Humbert might force a fourth set with an early lead in the third-set tie-break. But the World No. 106 missed an overhead wide, which allowed Rune to hang in the set and advance after two hours and nine minutes.
“It was extremely tough, especially after the fall. I played maybe better than expected because I relaxed a lot. But [the] third set was very tough. He was playing super aggressive, serving unbelievable,” Rune said. “The tie-break was small margins. I’m happy I kept being brave to finish in three sets.”
Rune will next play fifth seed Andrey Rublev, who was a 6-4, 6-2, 6-3 winner over 25th seed Daniel Evans. Rune claimed their only previous ATP Head2Head meeting at last year’s Rolex Paris Masters, where the Dane lifted his first ATP Masters 1000 trophy.