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At the time of writing, Holger Rune is competing in the Paris Masters to try and defend his title from 2022. And to try and defend this title, he has a bit of a legend in his corner, his new coach – Boris Becker. The Rune/Becker partnership was confirmed just a week or two ago, and critics considered it an unusual move given Becker’s unsteady personal life in recent times.
Nevertheless, it seems as though Becker’s personal life has been put to one side for this partnership to be created. Perhaps more interestingly, Novak Djokovic has publicly come out and given his support for Becker working with Holger Rune. As you may recall, Boris Becker coached Djokovic for a brief period between 2014 and 2016. But as brief as this player/coach relationship was, it was very successful.
During that time, Djokovic won several Grand Slam tournaments, as well as a range of Masters 1000 titles. Of course, Novak Djokovic is arguably the greatest tennis player to have ever lived, but one has to assume that Boris Becker was both a good coach for Djokovic and a positive influence over those two years. So the question remains – can he do the same for Holger Rune now that they have started working together?
Let me analyze this combination right now as we approach the back end of the 2023 season.
Becker and Rune – the start of something special?
We all know that Boris Becker has been in the news for a range of rather negative reasons in recent times. He’s been to jail due to his bankruptcy difficulties, he’s had problems with tax evasion charges, and some rumors suggest he has struggled with alcohol abuse too. Yet regardless of whether such rumors are true, it’s undeniable that many wouldn’t consider him a ‘stable influence’ – especially not for such a young player like Holger Rune. But despite such difficulties, I feel that fans are all too quick to forget what this man achieved in the sport of tennis.
His tennis resume is one of the very best in the business, and I say this from the pool of those who are actively coaching. Don’t forget, Becker won Wimbledon at 17 years of age, and he is still the youngest men’s Wimbledon winner of all time. Additionally, he reached the very top of the game, being ranked number 1 at his peak, and he won an impressive 49 ATP Tour-level tournaments in his career. For me, this shows that Boris Becker knew what it took to achieve big things in the sport of tennis, and I’d imagine he still knows today.
So while it is a bit of a ‘shock hire’, I do believe it could materialize into something rather special for both of them. And now, let me share a few immediate changes that Boris Becker has made with Holger Rune, just weeks into their newly formed partnership.
Becker’s coaching influence on Holger Rune – immediate adjustments
First and foremost, fans should note that Boris Becker has already transformed Holger Rune as far as short-term mentality goes. Becker took over the coaching role for the 20-year-old Danish player directly before he competed in the Swiss Indoors in October. Amazingly, Rune went on to win back-to-back ATP Tour-level matches for the first time since July 2023. Now, there weren’t obvious changes to his game style or his tactical approach to the game in Basel, but then again, these changes take time.
In my opinion, however, there were obvious changes in terms of Rune’s positivity and maturity on the court. He didn’t seem quite as petulant as he had been in the past, and he generally seemed calmer in what would be considered ‘high-stress’ moments. But besides these changes, the most amusing adaptations that have emerged include a demand from Becker for Rune to stop wearing his cap and to remove his necklaces when playing.
If you’ve watched Rune over the last couple of years, you probably know that he loves playing with his cap on backward. And he enjoys having a bit of ‘bling’ around the neck, some might say. However, this kind of stuff doesn’t fly with Boris Becker it would seem, as Rune has removed both accessories for his recent matches.
Finally, let’s not forget that these two have been working together for less than two weeks. Yet in two weeks, some habits that Holger Rune has probably had for several years have been removed from his make-up. So if things continue on this path, I am excited to see what other changes emerge over the coming months!
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