Rune breaks silence after unusual umpire incident with ‘nap’ threat

Holger Rune has broken his silence after losing a spicy match to Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in Madrid. The 20-year-old received some advice from the umpire in an unusual incident after being booed by the crowd. Rune has now defended the Spanish fans but said he would “take a nap” if he had to wait for a line call to be debated in the future.

Rune lost a tough third round to Davidovich Fokina on Sunday in a match that wasn’t without some drama. Early in the first set, the Spaniard disagreed with a call claiming the sixth seed’s serve was in, even though FoxTenn technology ruled in favour of Rune.

It led to a stoppage in play, with the world No 35 refusing to play until he could discuss the mark with the supervisor. In the meantime, Rune was booed as he appeared to erase the mark on the clay and he later complained to the umpire – who offered him some words of wisdom on how to stop the crowd from jeering him.

The 20-year-old went on to lose the match in a final set tiebreak and has now addressed the incident, defending the Spanish crowd as he conceded that the ball mark issue wasn’t communicated to them. “There was a lot of talk today about bad behaviour among Spanish fans last night,” he wrote on Monday.

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Rune instead took aim at the lengthy discussion about the line call, continuing: “Yesterday the crowd didn’t understand what was going on. You cannot overrule a computer call. And it took the umpire and supervisor [a] very long time to explain this to my opponent. And they didn’t bother to communicate this to the crowd.”

And the four-time title winner threatened to fall asleep if he found himself in the same situation in the future. “Next time I will take a nap while they discuss,” he added. “Just want to say that personally I hold nothing against the Spanish people and I look forward to come back to @mutuamadridopen.”

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It comes after Rune complained about the booing during a changeover in the first set, with chair umpire Carlos Bernardes offering him some advice. “They will be ever worse if you keep doing. If you just play tennis, they don’t do anything else,” the official said.

Bernardes had umpired Rune’s salty clash with Jannik Sinner in Monte Carlo, in which the 20-year-old also had to field some hassle from the crowd. And he referenced that match as he told the world No 7: “I told you once in Monte Carlo but that was fine. There are crowds that you cannot control if you do things like that.”

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