Roger Federer has ruled the sport of tennis for decades with his elegant style of play. and tremendous work ethic. The Swiss Maestro is considered as a role model throughout the world, and is easily one of the biggest stars in all of sport.
Roger Federer's success is owed not just to his tennis qualities, but to his personality and marketability as well. The 38-year-old is currently the world's highest-paid athlete, and doesn't seem likely to stop any time soon.
Many promising players and rising stars have tried to emulate Roger Federer on and off the court, and with good reason. Among the sea of such talented players stands Holger Rune, the ITF Junior World No. 1 and 2019 French Open champion.
Speaking to Tennismajors.com, Holger Rune's mother Aneke Rune let the tennis community in on how the youngster came to idolize Roger Federer.
Holger wants to be No. 1 like Roger Federer: Aneke Rune
The Danish youngster always set his sights high, even when he was a kid. His mother recounted how he insisted on playing events that were way beyond his age level, and how his family found ways to indulge his competitive streak.
"When he was young, he wanted to play tournaments. I was like: ‘You're too small and you're not good enough.’ They had these foam ball tournaments. We decided he could try. Then, he became runner-up in this tournament," Rune said of her son.
Rune, a trainee at the Mouratoglou Tennis Academy now, wanted to be like Roger Federer right from the start. Aneke elaborated how her son switched allegiance from Nadal to Federer just because the Spaniard spent a large amount of time in the shadows of the Swiss..
"He refused to take the runners-up trophy because he wanted to be No. 1. At that time, he was a big fan of Rafael Nadal, who at that time was World No. 2. And Roger Federer was No. 1. When we came home, he told us he never wanted to be No. 2, he only wanted to be No. 1 like Roger Federer," Holger Rune's mother said.
"When we came home from the tournament, we had to put posters of Roger Federer all across his room. He liked Nadal as well, he likes both players. He just didn't like being No. 2, and wanted to be No. 1 like Roger Federer," she added.
In Denmark, Holger Rune was considered a “freak” whose talent had no bounds. So his family decided to move to London, then to France and the Mouratoglou Academy, to ensure that he had the right platform to fulfill his ambitions.
Holger Rune has always had a champion's mentality, and that came to the fore when he won the 2019 French Open boys' singles title in June last year.
The young gun also made his mark on the professional tour last year, as he became the sixth youngest player to win an ATP Challenger match in the 21st century. Just 16 years old at the time, Rune joined an exclusive list that also features Rafael Nadal.