Why Holger Rune’s new coach is a promising sign… but where have we seen him before?

Why Holger Rune’s new coach is a promising sign… but where have we seen him before?

Holger Rune is not just one of the best young tennis players in the world – he is also an excellent value to watch as you never know what might happen next.

We already had his mother – her, the world number nine screamed to leave Roland Garros when he struggled in the French Open. All fluttering eyelashes, she tends to sit in the row behind the trainers with a mind that would unsettle Dr. Lecter.

And since October we have had the latest addition to Rune’s coaching staff: Patrick Mouratoglou. Not the head coach, he’s more of an observer, but his influence is already clearly evident.

A bit like the actors you couldn’t quite place in the third episode of ‘The Last of Us’, he has a face you’re sure you’ve seen before…

It’s a big signal, but blink and you’ll miss it!
Well, here’s a clue from DR’s go-to tennis expert Michael Mortensen, who achieved a career-high world ranking of 301 in 1984, so he knows what he’s talking about.

It turns out that Mortensen is a bit of a wag … in the 19th and 20th century sense of the word, before the term was adopted by the English tabloids to describe the partners of the national football team.

“He only chose him because he knows he is a future number one in the world and a future grand slam winner,” he told DR. “He sends a big signal when he chooses to train Holger Rune.”

A big signal! Are there any memories of jogging?

Caught by a referee who was looking
Surprisingly enough, Mouratoglou’s Wikipedia page not mentioning the controversy he became embroiled in during Serena Williams’ surprise loss to Naomi Osaka in the 2018 US Open final.

During the second set, the umpire handed out a William code violation for receiving coaching from the player’s box, prompting an angry reaction from the American who stiffened for the rest of the evening, including Osaka’s victory ceremony, where the Japanese player broke down in tears.

Mouratoglou, the referee claimed, was using hand signals to communicate with Williams and after the final the Frenchman admitted he was – although he doubted Williams was really looking.

Besides, Osaka’s coach did the same, he added – all coaches do!

Made in Mouratoglou, killed by Rune
But while most coaches have hand signals in their arsenals, they don’t have Mouratoglou’s other significant weapons – an advantage Rune should be able to use this season, now that the coach has agreed to extend his contract.

Mouratoglou is the owner of the Mouratoglou Tennis Academy in Nice, where he has trained many of Rune’s future opponents. He knows all their strengths… and weaknesses.

“Patrick has seen many of the players that Holger faces 1,000 times, so he knows many of their weaknesses,” explained Mortensen. “Therefore, it is not only Holger who gets in the head of his opponent, because Patrick does too, because he is so intimidating.”

The news that Mouratoglou has extended his contract confirms the potential he sees in the Dane to win the grand slam and become a future world number one.

Lars Christensen is still Rune’s head coach – a position he has held since the young star was six years old. Rune turns 20 in April.

Mouratoglou coached Serena Williams from 2012 to 2022 (photo: Tatiana)

Source: The Nordic Page

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