Holger Rune expressed his annoyance after his first round match was scheduled on an outside court – and his misery was complete as he crashed out to Spain’s Roberto Carballes Baena.
Rune tweeted a map of the US Open site to point spectators towards his first-round match, in what was seen as a swipe at tournament organisers for putting him on one of the smaller courts.
The fiesty younger and No 4 seed was clearly miffed at being shunted away on one of Flushing Meadows’ tiny outside courts and sarcastically wrote “in case you can find Court 5, this is where I play my first match Monday”.
He may have let his frustration get the better of him as he was beaten 6-3 4-6 6-3 6-2 by the impressive Carballes Baena.
The court is crammed in between the Arthur Ashe and Grandstand Stadiums, with pathways on either side where spectators can wander past.
And Rune’s cheeky tweet backfired as hundreds swarmed around the court, craning their necks and standing on benches, to see the 20-year-old slip to defeat.
Afterwards he admitted his frustration at the scheduling as he said: “As best as you get in the ranking, the more benefits you should get with playing in better conditions.
“So I think that’s a normal way and it’s also how ATP do with all the players. But they didn’t do it with me here.
“It’s not difficult, but it’s different. You’re more close to all the people. It’s a nice atmosphere. So, I mean, it’s no problem with the court. I just didn’t expect to play on that court.
“I feel like it’s normal. I mean, as best as you get in the ranking, the more benefits you should get with playing in better conditions. So I think that’s a normal way and it’s also how ATP do with all the players. But they didn’t do it with me here.
“That’s obviously disappointing, but not going to blame the court on the loss. He played very, very solid. Credit to him.”
On his contentious tweet, Rune added: “I just did it kind of for fun. I mean, of course I was a bit not happy when I saw the schedule, but, I mean, I saw the schedule Friday so I had time to recover from it.
“It’s not like I can’t play tennis if I don’t play on centre court.”
There was better news for Dominic Thiem, as he picked up his first win at Flushing Meadows since he won the title in 2020.
The 29-year-old Austrian, a former world number three who is working his way back up the rankings after a long spell out injured, beat 25th seed Alexander Bublik 6-3 6-2 6-4.
“It’s a pretty special victory, because it’s the first since two-and-a-half years on grand slams,” said Thiem.
“So it’s great. Especially here at the US Open with all the past and all the memories I have here.”
Fifth seed Casper Ruud, last year’s runner-up, dropped a set to American qualifier Emilio Nava but came through 7-6 (5) 3-6 6-4 7-6 (5).
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