Rune wins BMW Open after van de Zandschulp retires
MUNICH -- Danish teenager Holger Rune won the BMW Open final to claim his first ATP Tour title after Botic van de Zandschulp was forced to retire.
The eighth-seeded van de Zandschulp led 4-3 in the opening set - with Rune serving at 40-15 - when he withdrew due to chest pains.
“This was probably the worst way to win a final,” said Rune, who celebrated his 19th birthday. “I was obviously expecting a very tough match and he came out very strong. I just wish him all the best, a speedy recovery, and we all just hope to see him back on the court very soon.”
Rune, who stunned top-seeded Alexander Zverev in the second round, did not drop a set at the clay-court tournament. He also ousted Jiri Lehecka, Emil Ruusuvuori and Oscar Otte on his way to his first final.
The 26-year-old van de Zandschulp was also playing his first final after seeing off Miomir Kecmanovic, Casper Ruud, Egor Gerasimov and Brandon Nakashima.
The 70th-ranked Rune became the third youngest champion in Munich after Guillermo Perez-Roldan won at age 17 in 1987 and successfully defended his title a year later.
Rune is the fifth first-time winner on the ATP Tour this year.
“I’m super happy, of course,” Rune said. “As I said, not the way I want it to end, but if I look through the week, what a week! ... To be playing here in Munich and winning my first ATP title in front of such a brilliant crowd, I couldn’t really ask for more.”