Holger Rune rages as he brands Italian Open umpire ‘absolute joke’

Holger Rune let rip at the umpire during his Italian Open clash against Novak Djokovic as he disagreed with a ball mark and went on to get broken. The seventh seed then blasted Mohamed Layhani and called him an “absolute joke” before asking him to respect the players.

Rune got off to a strong start in his quarter-final match against Djokovic as he raced to a 6-2 lead and had a break point in the second set. But it was saved by the top seed and the Serb ended up breaking a few games later after the 20-year-old disagreed with a line call from the umpire.

Lahyani took to the court to explain the decision to Rune, who argued the ball mark. And the seventh seed continued his outburst when he sat down for the change of ends, trailing 2-5.

“Listen to me,” he told Lahyani. “I’ve had you three or four times and you make misses every time you play.” Rune then referenced his Basel final against Felix Auger-Aliassime, which he lost back in October and one of his recent matches in Madrid.

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“You are an absolute joke, man,” Rune added, before quizzing the umpire over mistaken calls. He continued: “Do you get punished for your mistakes? Can you answer me, yes or no? Answer my question, do you get punished when you do a mistake?

“Because when we do a mistake we get a fine, you don’t. So please respect the players.” The four-time title winner then called the physio to court and received a medical time out as his knee was treated. The supervisor also attended as Rune continued his rant.

“He is against me,” Rune claimed, bringing up the Basel final once again while in conversation with the supervisor. But venting his frustrations seemed to work, along with the treatment, as the Dane won the next two games when play resumed. 

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Rune held and was able to break Djokovic when the Serb served for the second set. The world No 7 won two long rallies of 34 and 22 shots each before breaking to close the gap at 4-5.

But play was interrupted when the rain came with Rune trailing 0-30 on his serve, and both players vacated the court. 

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