Jimmy Connors has reacted to Boris Becker stepping down from his position as Holger Rune’s head coach.
Rune had appointed Becker to his team in October 2023. At the time, the short-term objective of the appointment was to help the Dane qualify for the 2023 Nitto ATP Finals. It came about following the World No. 7’s unexpected first-round defeat at the US Open that he opted to separate from his former coach, Patrick Mouratoglou.
Almost immediately after Becker’s addition to his team, Rune’s form improved. He became a Swiss Indoors semifinalist and a Paris Masters quarterfinalist and earned a spot at the year-ending championship too.
However, Becker was missing from the Dane’s box in his run to the final of the 2024 Brisbane International. The German coach was also not a part of Rune’s team during his Australian Open campaign, where he bowed out in the second round after losing to unseeded Frenchman Arthur Cazaux.
Afterwards, on 6 February, Boris Becker announced via social media that he had called time on his spell as Holger Rune’s head coach:
Against that background, Jimmy Connors revisited his time as Andy Roddick’s coach to deliver his verdict on the Becker-Rune situation in the latest episode of the Advantage Connors podcast.
“I know when I was with Andy Roddick, I was on the road a lot, going to different tournaments and being gone for 4, 5, 6 weeks in a row and going to Grand Slams, so it’s a commitment,” Connors said (at 26:50).
Connors also advised Rune to keep in mind that someone like Becker has other priorities as well.
“I’m sure that [Holger] Rune saw what Boris [Becker] could bring to the table and how he could help improve him. But, on the other hand, he’s got to understand a guy Becker’s age has also a life,” the American continued.
Days before Boris Becker’s announcement, Holger Rune had split with Roger Federer’s ex-coach as well
Boris Becker wasn’t the only one to join Holger Rune’s team as coach in the second half of 2023. The 20-year-old had also roped in Severin Luthi, Roger Federer’s ex-coach, in December.
Luthi, unlike Becker, was in Rune’s box throughout his highs and lows Down Under, accompanying the Dane at both the Brisbane International and the Australian Open.
However, shortly after the conclusion of the Melbourne Slam, Rune’s mother Aneke announced that Luthi would no longer be a part of her son’s coaching team.
“Don’t want to make a big deal out of it, but the timing with Severin [Luthi] was clearly not right. It would be too few weeks for Severin to be able to cover for the continuity that Holger needs,” Aneke told Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladet.