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Meet Danish tennis star Holger Rune's coach, Lars Christensen

Joshua Rogers June 1, 2022
holger rune coach lars christensen
Photo by John Berry/Getty Images

The 2022 French Open is hotting up as we prepare for the quarter-finals. Here we look at Holger Rune and his coach Lars Christensen in more detail.

Holger Rune will be making his debut in a Grand Slam quarter-final as he’s set to play Casper Ruud at the 2022 French Open.

The Danish tennis star has had some big upset victories on his way to the quarters. In the first round at Roland Garros, he beat No.14 Denis Shapovalov in straight sets.

The 19-year-old then caused an even bigger upset by knocking out No.4 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas in four sets.

Naomi Osaka | Official Trailer | Netflix

Naomi Osaka | Official Trailer | Netflix

His career so far

Rune began 2021 outside the world’s top 400 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, but after a breakthrough 18 months, he has risen to a career-high number of 40.

The teenager shone on the biggest stage when he took a set off the world number one Novak Djokovic, in the first round of the 2021 US Open, before losing to the Serbian. He qualified at Flushing Meadows on his first qualifying attempt at a Grand Slam.

Rune became the youngest ATP Tour quarter-finalist since 2014, in March, at the Chile Dove Men+Care Open in Santiago, whereas as a 17-year-old he advanced to the last eight as a qualifier (ATP).

The right-hander, who also made the last eight at the Moselle Open in Metz, became the first Dane to reach an ATP Tour quarter-final since Kristian Pless in 2006 (ATP).

On 17 January 2022, at world No. 99, he became the second-youngest male player after Carlos Alcaraz to be ranked inside the world’s top 100.

In April 2022, Rune had the best moment of his career to date. After receiving a wild card to the Bavarian International Tennis Championships, he defeated world No. 3 Alexander Zverev in the second round for his first top 10 wins in his career.

Holger then made it to the final where he would face Botic van de Zandschulp. Van de Zandschulp was forced to retire with chest pain in the first set, making Rune the tournament’s third-youngest champion in the Open Era.

Photo by CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP via Getty Images

Who is Holger Rune’s coach, Lars Christensen?

Holger Rune’s coach is Lars Christensen and he has been a professional tennis coach since 2003. He works with Holger Rune and they have been working together since the young prodigy was seven-years-old.

Speaking about how he met Rune, Christensen said (via ATP): “I was head coach in a club in Denmark. I was in charge of everything, coaching all the kids. He came when he was six-and-a-half because his big sister was playing tennis. She was playing quite well and I think he started in the summer season. 

“In the winter season, I started coaching all the small kids as well. I noticed him very fast. He progressed so fast and was totally dedicated to becoming a good tennis player, so that’s how I got his eyes on him in the first place.”

Under Lars’s stewardship, Rune won the European Championship indoor and outdoor in under-12 boys teams, European Championship under-14, French Open and Junior Masters in 2019 and became the junior number one.

Jens Anker Andersen, Denmark Tennis Federation’s sports manager, awarded Christensen with the award for Tennis Coach of the Year 2018.

In the winter season, I started coaching all the small kids as well. I noticed him very fast. He progressed so fast and was totally dedicated to becoming a good tennis player, so that’s how I got his eyes on him in the first place.

Over a decade from starting their partnership together, Rune and Christensen could become one of the best player/coach partnerships on the ATP tour.

With Christensen carefully guiding the Danish wonderkid, Rune can expect many more breakthroughs on the tennis circuit.

Photo by John Berry/Getty Images

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Joshua is a senior sports writer with over four years' experience in online writing. He graduated with a BA in Ancient History from The University of Manchester before receiving an MA in Sports Journalism from The University of Central Lancashire. He became a trending writer for a leading social publisher and later spent time covering the 2018 World Cup for The Mirror Online. He then moved to a social marketing agency where he acted as website editor. His specialties on The Focus include F1, tennis, NBA, NFL and combat sports.