Holger Rune: "I like that Novak Djokovic is still here for us young players to really see what the real deal is"

Holger Rune (L) and Novak Djokovic (R)
Holger Rune (L) and Novak Djokovic (R)

Holger Rune has said the fact that Novak Djokovic was still playing at an elite level was very helpful for younger tennis players.

The 20-year-old Dane along with Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner, has produced some very good tennis over the past year and all three have high expectations for the future.

Rune was asked on the Advantage Connors podcast hosted by Jimmy Connors and his son Brett, whether he, Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner would take the mantle from the Big Three of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.

"Yeah, I totally agree. I have to agree and I do agree. But the fact is, Novak is still winning three out of four Grand Slams this year. So we cannot say that he is gone because we need to beat him like not just one time but like every time. I will try to beat him every time because if he keeps winning this big tournaments, why would he stop?" Rune said.

The 20-year-old also said he liked that Novak Djokovic was still present as the younger players would get to see what the "real deal" is. He added that not experiencing Djokovic, Federer or Nadal would mean that something is missing.

"I mean he is not gonna stop until we beat him so the sooner we can get the level raised, the sooner we will take over. I actually like that Novak is still here because you know for us young players to really see what the real world is in a way, what the real deal is, you know.
If you never experience Roger, Rafa or Novak, I think we would miss something and I think Novak is like extremely high standard and I think for us so close to see that is very helpful," Rune said.

Holger Rune won 44 out of 68 matches in 2023

Holger Rune at the ATP Finals
Holger Rune at the ATP Finals

Holger Rune had a decent 2023 season, winning 44 out of 68 matches. The Dane's only title came at the BMW Open in Munich where he defeated Botic van de Zandschulp 6-4, 1-6, 7-6(3) in the final.

The 20-year-old reached the final of two Masters 1000 tournaments in Monte-Carlo and Rome. He lost both the title clashes to Russians. Andrey Rublev beat him 5-7, 6-2, 7-5 at the Monte-Carlo Masters while Daniil Medvedev triumphed 7-5, 7-5 at the Italian Open.

Rune's best Grand Slam performance in 2023 was reaching the quarterfinals of the French Open and Wimbledon, losing to Casper Ruud and Carlos Alcaraz respectively.

The Dane qualified for the ATP Finals for the first time in his career but endured a first-round exit, winning just one out of his three round-robin matches. He will finish 2023 as the World No. 8.

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