Holger Rune has defended his behaviour, accusing tennis legend Roger Federer of being “40 times worse” than him at his age.
Rune had trouble controlling his emotions in his French Open quarter-final defeat to Casper Ruud at the beginning of June, as he argued repeatedly with the umpire, and even yelled at his mother to leave the arena.
He barely acknowledged Ruud after the match, offering a half-hearted high five at the net before heading for the locker room, where the drama reportedly continued.
The youngster has since defended his actions, claiming 20-time grand slam winner Federer was much worse than he is, and that he has “plenty of time to get a better image.”
“If you saw Roger Federer as a youngster, he was maybe 40 times worse than I was,” Rune said. “And he’s one of the most beloved tennis players on the tour – so I think I have plenty of time to get an even better image.
“I have an extreme passion for this sport and sometimes I show it too much.
“But I’m 19 years old. I’m still young and I work every day to bring out only the positives in my attitude – and that’s a process.
“I just see that as differences and I think that’s great. If all people were the same and think the same, it would be horrible to live in this world. It’s great that you think what you want, and you like the character you like.”
Rune is in England preparing for Wimbledon and gets his Eastbourne International campaign underway on Monday. He will face Great Britain’s Ryan Peniston in the round of 32.