Holger Ron He may have had a busy 2022 season developing his game on the field, but that didn’t stop the Dane either from finding time to work on a slightly different set of skills.
“I can juggle three balls, sure. With four, it’s rusty, but I’m trying,” Ron, whose coach Lars Christensen was a circus artist, recently told ATPTour.com. “It’s cute, it’s fun… He showed me (Christensen) [how to do a] Handstand, but it requires a lot of work. I can do it against the wall, but it is very difficult to do it.”
19-year-old Dane believes Christensen’s background brings a unique perspective to his team as he looks to end his stellar year in style at Intesa Sanpaolo Next Generation ATP Finals in Milan.
“You just told me a little [about the circus] “And I watched some videos of him,” said Ron, who has been with Christensen since childhood. “Obviously tennis is another kind of thing, but he taught me some tricks… It’s good, because he understands all fitness too, because he did a lot of work to be able to do what he did.
“Obviously, all things with the balls help. Coordination, and he also has some really good training on the court which probably won’t be done by other coaches because he’s been on the field. For me, it’s nice to have a guy with not only a tennis background, but a different background. .”
Whatever Christensen’s methods are, they work. Ron’s impressive year saw the Dane rack up a record 37-24 on the ATP Tour and lift his first Tour titles in Munich and Stockholm. In between those victories, the 19-year-old climbed to his first Grand Slam quarter-final in Roland Garrosa streak that included a fourth-round win against Stefanos Tsitsipas.
“I think that [was probably the biggest win] “Because she was in one of the four Grand Slams in the fourth round,” Ron said of his four-set win over the Greek. “Maybe it was the biggest win because I really wanted to get to the quarter-finals and it was a huge fight, so I would say [it stands out]. ”
It didn’t take long for Ron to be reminded of the realities of life on the ATP Tour after his success in Paris. The 19-year-old struggled with a difficult stretch on grass and hard courts in North America, but rediscovered his form with confidence during the European indoor season when he reached the final in Sofia before defeating Tsitsipas again to claim the Stockholm title.
“I think when you’re young you have to learn all the time,” Ron said. “It’s not easy to play week after week at the highest level and that’s what you need to learn. If you can do that now, that’s great, but I’m working on it and trying to show more and more consistency.”
Ron is one of a number of #NextGenATP stars who have enjoyed success recently on the tour. as well as danish, Carlos AlcarazAnd the Yannick SenerAnd the Lorenzo Mussetti And the Brandon Nakashima They’ve all lifted at least one trophy at the Tour level in 2022, and Ron is optimistic there’s plenty to come from the ATP’s newest pool of young talent.
“I think it’s going to be a really exciting time,” he said. “As we know, there are a lot of youngsters that go into the rankings. Of course, I think it’s exciting because I’m young, but I think it’s exciting for the tour to get some guys coming in there. We’re just fighting every day, so let’s hope we can get there. “.
Ron faced both Alcaraz and Nakashima in the group stage last year Intesa Sanpaolo Next Generation ATP Finals He faced Sinner in the semi-finals in Sofia, while he had yet to meet Musetti at the Tour level. He’s excited that ATP Tour fans might get a chance to watch the competitions that have been around since youngsters.
“I played Alcaraz a few times, when we played with the rookies,” Ron said. “We always have big fights. Then Musity and I played two or three times, so I would say these two [stand out]. ”
Home favorite Mussetti joins Ron in this year’s Milan squad for what will be the second time in a row Intesa Sanpaolo Next Generation ATP Finals appearance of both. Ron has only positive memories of the under-21 season finale in 2021, when he narrowly missed qualifying for the semi-finals by scoring 1-2 in the group stage.
“My strongest memory was that it was an incredible event and being able to play that for the first time was crazy,” said the Dane. “I watched it when I was a kid, so growing up and being able to play has been really nice. It was such an honor to be able to qualify.”