Holger Rune says Roger Federer was '40 times worse' than him in terms of temperament at a similar age as he hit back at his critics.
The 19-year-old Dane played some brilliant tennis to reach the quarterfinals of the French Open this year.
He also drew some criticism for his on-court antics, which included what many thought was overly demonstrative exhibitions of passion and he also banish his mother from courtside at one point whilst in the grips of frustrations.
After losing to Casper Ruud in the last eight, Rune accused the Norwegian of 'shouting in his face' to celebrate in the locker room too, although Ruud has rubbished those allegations.
Rune, though, says he has no worries about his future image, and he says Roger Federer was far worse than him before eventually maturing into what he is today.
“If you saw Roger Federer as a youngster, he was maybe 40 times worse than I was,” Rune said.
“And he's one of the most beloved tennis players on the tour - so I think I have plenty of time to get an even better image.
“I have an extreme passion for this sport and sometimes I show it too much. But I'm 19-years-old. I'm still young and I work every day to bring out only the positives in my attitude - and that's a process.
"I just see that as differences and I think that's great. If all people were the same and think the same, it would be horrible to live in this world.
"It's great that you think what you want, and you like the character you like.”
Author's comment: Yes, I think we all remember the relative tearaway that Roger Federer was back at the start of his career, despite the PR machine's best efforts.
That said, it's fair to say that Holger Rune - or anyone else - can't rely on reproducing the beautiful tennis that Roger Federer plays to ultimately salvage whatever damage they do to their image.
All a bit needless, really, given whatever happened Rune came out of Roland Garros in a far better place than he was when he arrived.
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