"We need to try to get Novak Djokovic out of here" - Holger Rune on possibility of himself, Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner taking over ATP tour
Holger Rune is of the opinion that the younger generation, including himself, Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner, need to beat Novak Djokovic more consistently in order for them to begin dominating the men's tour.
Rune, Alcaraz and Sinner are all considered future stars, and have already tasted success in their young careers. While Alcaraz is a two-time Grand Slam champion and has reached the top of the rankings, the other two have both won Masters 1000 tournaments and broken into the top-5.
While appearing on the 'Advantage Connors' podcast with Jimmy Connors and his son Brett, Holger Rune was asked about being grouped with Alcaraz and Sinner and how their wins motivated him. The Dane responded that while it was "really cool" to be a part of the trio, he didn't need other players to motivate him.
"I think it's really cool to be a part of this group because you know, all of us have been doing very very well, you know, Sinner had a phenomenal season, Alcaraz also with the Wimbledon title," Rune said.
"To be honest, I have so much motivation inside of me so I don't need other players to really motivate me or keep my hunger. When I am winning, I am more hungry you know, and when I am losing I get motivation to go back to work. It doesn't matter if Sinner is winning a tournament or losing in first round, I mean, I wish him the best but it does not affect my motivation and will to win and again for the sport, it's really cool," he added.
Rune further claimed that the rivalry between himself, Alcaraz and Sinner is good for the growth of tennis. At the same time, he cautioned that for the three of them to dominate the tour, they need to "get Novak Djokovic out" first.
"It's really great to have this rivalry with us three players as we had the generation Roger, Rafa, Novak, Murray and yeah for the sport to grow, it's really amazing to have this group of guys that can dominate the tour. I am not saying we are dominating the tour already, Novak is still there, we need to try to get him out of here," Holger Rune said.
Holger Rune and Novak Djokovic have played each other five times on tour
Holger Rune has faced Novak Djokovic five times so far, with the latter leading 3-2 in the head-to-head.
The first match between the two came in the opening round of the 2021 US Open, with the Serb winning in four sets. Their second meeting came in the final of the 2022 Paris Masters, where Rune came back from a set down to win 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 and clinch his maiden Masters 1000 title.
The Dane also beat Djokovic 6-2, 4-6, 6-2 when they locked horns in the quarterfinals of this year's Italian Open. They next faced each other in the Paris Masters quarterfinals, where the Serb won 7-5, 6-7(3), 6-4.
The most recent encounter between the two came in the round-robin stage of the ATP Finals, where Djokovic triumphed 7-6(4), 6-7(1), 6-3.