Danish teen Holger Vitus Nodskov Rune earned the biggest win of his career over second seed Benoit Paire on Wednesday to continue his dream week at the Chile Dove Men+Care Open.
The 17-year-old qualifier played like a veteran against the No. 29 player in the FedEx ATP Rankings to seal his victory 6-2, 6-3 in just under an hour in Santiago.
“I have a very good feeling right now after beating Benoit Paire, who is such a talented player,” Rune said in his post-match press conference. “I have a lot of respect for him, and I know him very well.
“It’s been a great tournament so far, going from qualifying and playing a lot of tough matches. I’m expecting it to get harder every match, so I’m just fighting for every round.”
Rune honed in on the Frenchman’s vulnerable second serve, and as a result Paire was only able to win three points (13 per cent) off of his second delivery during the match. That meant that Rune had plenty of chances to break, and the 17-year-old converted four of eight on his way to victory.
“Today I was going more for his forehand, because I know how dangerous his backhand can be and his serve-and-volley,” Rune said. “I was trying to play heavy with a lot of spin to his forehand, and every time a short ball came I had to come in and take the ball early. His service games were difficult because when he hits a big serve, there is not much you can do about it. I’m super happy overall with the win today.”
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Rune is now into the quarter-finals in just his second ATP Tour main draw, after making his tour debut last week in Buenos Aires. He will face another seed in the next round as he takes on Federico Delbonis next. The eighth-seeded Argentine comfortably defeated Andrej Martin 6-0, 6-3 to advance.
Another Argentine booked his quarter-final spot earlier in the day as Facundo Bagnis toppled fifth seed Frances Tiafoe in a battling two-set match, 7-6(3), 7-6(2). Bagnis will next face fourth seed Laslo Djere, who took down Pedro Sousa 5-7, 7-5, 6-3.