Tech Talk: A deep dive into the Holger Rune ReturnBy May 17, 2023
Shoe Review: On Roger One (Clay)By Jun 07, 2023
Tech Talk: Going loco for the Coco Gauff backhandBy Jun 07, 2023
Tech Talk: How Ons Jabeur’s drop shot is going to be a killer on clayBy Jun 01, 2023
Geared Up: Hubert Hurkacz hits the courts in head-to-toe YonexBy Jun 01, 2023
Bianca Andreescu unlocks secret to the Ons Jabeur drop shot at Roland GarrosBy May 31, 2023
Geared Up: Félix Auger-Aliassime goes full speed with Babolat and AdidasBy May 28, 2023
Sole Support: how the right outsole makes all the difference on clayBy May 27, 2023
Tech Talk: Don’t underestimate Cameron Norrie's backhandBy May 25, 2023
Racquet Review: Head Gravity Pro 2023By May 22, 2023
Tech Talk: A deep dive into the Holger Rune Return
Turning the return from a liability to an an asset, Rune goes from defense to offense in just one shot; here’s how you can develop your own return game.
Published May 17, 2023
THROWBACK: Holger Rune's Hot Shot of the Day.
Holger Rune is hungry for success, and he isn’t shy about it either. He is eager to push his own limits and make new waves on the professional tour. One crucial component to his game is his aggressive return.
A successful return game is just as important as having a big serve. As players await an aggressive delivery from across the net, they must react quickly, strategically, and fiercely in order to get out of the defensive position.
It’s more than just forehand vs. backhand. It’s about using your body to create an advantageous variation of the groundstroke return and yielding the optimal height over the net, and the variations are endless. This could mean a high, heavy crosscourt from one end to the other, a forehand slice to cut the serving pace and move your opponent, or anything in between.
Holger Rune has a toolbox full of return tricks on which he relies. While he’s most confident in a strong forehand and backhand placement off the serve, he can keep his opponents off-balance with an occasional slice or change of pace.
That’s the key to his return game: he never plays the same return twice. Sure. he could be targeting the same part of the court, but he doesn’t gift his opponent a shot they're going to expect. He is able to execute variations according to his tactical game.
This year alone his return game has created 190 break points, out of which he’s converted 42%. On average, his return in percentage is roughly 67% with an overall return point winning percentage averaging 50%.
Looking ahead to his upcoming match against Novak Djokovic, arguably the best returner on tour, Rune is going to have to bring his entire arsenal to the court and recognize the opportunities to utilize each of them.
I can’t wait, honestly, to play the No. 1 in the world. It’s going to be a great experience, even though I’ve already played him twice. The last match was insane, the biggest win of my career. Holger Rune
When it comes to developing your own return, turning a fearful wait for a serve into a shot that will put you in the offensive position, you need to first and foremost understand your strengths and tactics.
Are you a counter-puncher or moon-baller? Do you prefer playing fast points and challenging the net or are you more comfortable from behind the baseline? You need to develop returns that set you up for the kind of point you want to play without playing into the server's hands.
With this foundation, you can start building a return that you will be comfortable competing with even under immense pressure. Over time, your toolbox will be (almost) as full of tricks as Holger's.