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Top seed Holger Rune survives first-round test at Brisbane International

1 January 2024, by Leigh Rogers

Holger Rune is embracing his status as the top seed in the men’s singles draw at this week’s Brisbane International.

“It’s a big privilege to be the first seed here, surrounded by many good players,” he acknowledged.

The world No.8 is off to an encouraging start to his campaign too, but had to overcome a little scare in his opening round.

“It was difficult in the beginning, I had to find my rhythm,” Rune said after recording a 4-6 6-4 6-2 first-round win against Australian Max Purcell.

“But I thought once I found it, especially on the serve, I managed to get a lot of free points. That helped me get into the match and I kept fighting to find solutions.”

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Rune’s methodical approach paid off, especially when Purcell made a blistering start in their showdown at Pat Rafter Arena.

World No.45 Purcell won 12 of the first 13 points in the match to heap the pressure on Rune.

“I knew he was a great player and has been doing well in the past,” said the 20-year-old Dane.

“He was playing with confidence and with nothing to lose, so I knew that he’d be dangerous.”

Earlier today, Roman Safiullin proved an unseeded opponent can never be discounted.

The world No.39 recorded the biggest upset of the tournament so far, eliminating third seed Ben Shelton in an entertaining three-set battle.

Safiullin did not drop serve throughout the two-hour and 37-minute encounter, helping him edge out a 6-3 6-7(5) 6-3 victory against the world No.17.

Inclement weather impacted the day two schedule, meaning no matches were completed on the outside courts.

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