Kecmanovic Upsets Rune In Stockholm, Dampening Dane’s Turin Hopes

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Miomir Kecmanovic earned his first Top 10 win since last season in Miami with a dominant display against Holger Rune at the BNP Paribas Nordic Open. The Serbian knocked off the top seed and defending Stockholm champion 7-6(3), 6-2, dealing Rune his second opening-round defeat in as many weeks to advance to the quarter-finals.

“I thought I played pretty well today after a long period this year,” said Kecmanovic, who was 0-5 against the Top 10 this season prior to the win. “I’m very happy. It means a lot to finally be able to play like this.

“It makes it special [to beat the World No. 6]. I was close with some other [top] guys this year but I’m happy that I was finally able to do it.”

Kecmanovic snapped an 11-match losing streak against Top 10 opposition to improve to 4-17 against players of that status in his career. Prior to Wednesday’s result, his most recent Top 10 win came against Felix Auger-Aliassime in March 2022 in Miami.

For Rune, who also exited last week’s Rolex Shanghai Masters in the first round, the defeat is a blow to his bid to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals for the first time. The Dane currently occupies eighth place in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin, but his position in the final qualifying spot is under threat this week from Taylor Fritz, who is bidding to defend a title of his own in Tokyo.

Rune was frustrated by Kecmanovic’s aggressive yet steady play on Stockholm’s centre court. The Serbian finished with 19 winners and just five unforced errors, and he converted on all three of his break points in the second set after missing out on five in the opening set. Rune ripped a return winner to break in the opening game of set two, but was immediately broken back and never rediscovered his best form down the stretch.

In the lone three-set singles match of the day in Stockholm, Gael Monfils edged Marton Fucsovics 2-6, 6-2, 7-5 in the opening round. The Frenchman, cheered on by his mother and his wife, Elina Svitolina, hit 27 winners in the victory and closed out the result with a break in the final game. Monfils saved two break points at 3-3 in the final set and later saw two match points go begging on return at 5-4.

“I was very happy. Marton is a very good player, always a tricky opponent,” the 37-year-old said post-match. “[I had to] just believe that I’m going to win and try to stay positive, play my game.

“Obviously I was running quite good and hitting big balls. It was a little bit of a struggle at the beginning to impose my power and then I felt I was doing it pretty good.”

Monfils will next meet Austrian qualifier Filip Misolic for a place in the quarter-finals.

Third seed Tallon Griekspoor was one of four players to advance to the quarters with Wednesday triumphs. He defeated Emil Ruusuvuori 7-6(3), 6-4 to set up meeting with Pavel Kotov, a 6-4, 7-5 winner against Lorenzo Sonego. Laslo Djere also moved on to the quarters by beating J.J. Wolf 7-5, 6-4.

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