News & Media

Rune rises to reach Brisbane International quarterfinals

3 January 2024, by Leigh Rogers

Several seeds have stumbled in the opening rounds of the men’s singles competition at Brisbane International 2024, but Holger Rune is proudly bucking that trend.

After surviving a three-set challenge from Australian Max Purcell in the opening round, the top seed was tested once again.

Rune needed two hours and 27 minutes to overcome world No.48 Alexander Shevchenko in second-round action at Pat Rafter Arena this evening, before eventually prevailing 6-4 5-7 6-2.

The 20-year-old put on a show, mixing explosive groundstrokes from the baseline with perfect touch at the net. However, it was far from smooth sailing for the Danish star.

“I thought it was a very good match,” Rune said. “He was ripping the ball and going for his shots, he made it difficult for me.

“The beginning of the match was hard, so I really had to dig deep and fight.”

With Rune closing in on victory, Shevchenko secured his first break of the match in the 12th game of the second set.

Levelling the match at one-set apiece, it could have proven a major momentum changer.

However, Rune hit back immediately. He made a flawless start to the deciding set, earning a double break to race ahead 3-0 and wrest back control.

From there, Rune rode that momentum to advance to his first quarterfinal on Australian soil.

“So far, so good,” Rune said about carrying expectations as the top seed.

“It’s my first time in Brisbane and being top seeded is great. There’s a lot of great names (in the draw), we saw Rafa (Nadal) yesterday winning his first match after being away for a while.

“It’s definitely a great tournament, so I’m just excited and very happy that I’m still in it.”

Following a string of early upsets, Rune is the sole seed remaining in the top half of the men’s singles draw.

The world No.8’s next opponent is qualifier James Duckworth, who saved two match points in his second-round victory against German Yannick Hanfmann earlier today.

This propelled Duckworth, a 31-year-old Brisbane local, into the quarterfinals at his hometown tournament for the first time in nine years.

> READ: Quarterfinal spots secured in dramatic men’s singles encounters

The bottom half of the men’s singles draw still includes second seed Grigor Dimitrov, the world No.14 and the Brisbane International 2017 champion, and fourth seed Ugo Humbert, a rising Frenchman ranked No.20.

Former world No.1 Nadal, a wildcard entry, remains in contention as well. The 22-time Grand Slam champion headlines the tournament’s day five schedule, taking on Australian Jason Kubler in second-round action.

> BUY NOW: Tickets for Brisbane International 2024