Changing room ‘lie’ ignites mad tennis feud

Rising tennis star Holger Rune has admitted he needs to improve his “emotional control” after a disgruntled exit from the quarter-finals of Roland Garros at the hands of eighth seed Casper Ruud.

The Danish teenager was defeated by Ruud in a tense battle on Wednesday 6-1 4-6 7-6 (7-2) 6-3.

Throughout the match, Rune became enraged, repeatedly yelling at himself and the umpire, and seemingly berating his mother for getting out of his box.

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The animosity between the players reached a boiling point during a cold post-match encounter at the net, with Rune rushing through the usual handshake. Ruud reacted disapprovingly with his head.

But the antics reportedly didn’t end there.

Rune has since claimed that Ruud was “so unsportsmanlike during the match”, constantly talking about the 19-year-old on the track.

“I didn’t want to hug him after the game. He got a high-five and then I just had to leave him,” Rune told Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladet.

He also claimed that the Norwegian taunted him in the dressing room afterwards.

“(Casper) just went right up to me and yelled ‘YES’ right to my face,” he said.

“You can cheer all you want on the field and be happy. I will do that myself if I win. But that’s such bad style. Have some respect.”

Ruud’s father, who is also his coach, dismissed the accusation in the locker room as a “pure lie”, while the seven-time ATP title winner himself said Rune “needs to grow up”.

“I don’t know Holger personally, but I’ve seen on TV that sometimes there can be a lot of drama,” Ruud told the Norwegian tabloid VG.

“He’s young and new, so that’s excusable, but if you’re on a big stage, maybe it’s time to mature a bit.”

Heavily criticized for his poor sportsmanship on the net, Rune appeared to address his behavior in an Instagram post on Thursday.

“I gave my heart and my soul in every match in Paris,” he wrote.

“I put a lot of passion into my work, because that’s who I am. I am proud of my development and I also see that things can still be improved.

“In my quarter finals I didn’t find my level and that is frustrating. Still I should be able to find a way to win and this requires more emotional control. I am aware of this and will improve.”

“Let’s keep developing and let’s focus on the positive.”

Nevertheless, there is still discussion about what happened in the locker room after the game.

“What (Holger) says is wrong,” Ruud told Eurosport.

“What he says is really not what happened. We were both in the locker room after the game, and obviously it’s a huge locker room. There are a lot of players, so we were just in our own part of the room the whole time. “

“I took an ice bath, ate some pizza and listened to music before going home. While Holger sat in his part of the locker room.

“How he creates the story where I yell ‘YES’ right in his face is just a lie. It never happened. It’s a big lie. It’s disappointing that he’s creating lies about me.

“It doesn’t matter to me if he thinks I’m a player who doesn’t follow the fair play rules, that’s not really important.

“That’s his personal opinion, but to spread lies about me in this way is not right. I really wish this was the last time he does something like that.”

This was the fourth time the two rivals had met, with a 4-0 record in favor of Ruud.

The world’s number 8 will play the next US Open champion of 2014 Marin Cilic on Saturday for a place in the final.

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