"It's something really incredible that he continues to play like this" - Holger Rune inspired by Novak Djokovic's sustained excellence at the top

Novak Djokovic and Holger Rune pictured
Novak Djokovic and Holger Rune pictured

Holger Rune was very complimentary of Novak Djokovic's victory at the 2023 Australian Open and hailed him as an inspiration to all tennis players.

The Dane is currently competing at the ATP 500 Abierto Mexicano Telcel in Acapulco. He faced Ben Shelton in his opening match. Rune lost the first set in a closely fought tiebreaker but fought back to clinch the match 6-7 (7), 6-4, 6-2.

Prior to the match, Rune spoke about getting used to being one of the more experienced players after a breakthrough year in 2022. He also praised Ben Shelton for his excellent start to the year with a quarter-final finish at the Australian Open.

"I think that with all the games I have I've played more and more games, being the player with the most experience, I'm getting used to that and it's fine. He's a player who started the year very well and already had a spectacular promotion last season," Rune said.

Novak Djokovic recently broke Steffi Graf's record for most weeks as World No. 1 with a record of 378 weeks atop the rankings.

When asked about this historic achievement coupled with his victory at the Australian Open, Holger Rune praised the Serb's consistency at the highest level in the sport. He hailed Djokovic as an inspiration to all tennis players for his continued success even at 35 years of age.

"It's something really incredible that he continues to play like this," the World No. 10 said. "The level that he has been showing for many years is tremendous. That he has been able to win the Australian Open and practically every tournament that he plays at his age is an inspiration to all of us."

Holger Rune proud of his resilience against Ben Shelton in Acapulco

Holger Rune at the 2023 Australian Open
Holger Rune at the 2023 Australian Open

In the post-match interview, Holger Rune commented that he was happy to be able to find solutions when it mattered in his match against Ben Shelton, digging deep for a break in the second set. He felt that he was better in the third set and played well overall in what he described as a challenging encounter.

"I managed to find solutions when it mattered," Rune said. "I had to dig really deep for that break in the second set. In the third set, I felt like I was more up. I think I played good overall and it was a super tricky match."

Additionally, Rune praised Shelton's huge serve and arsenal of weapons and said that he was most pleased with his mental handling of the match. He revealed that he intends to team up with the American for a doubles partnership at the upcoming Indian Wells Masters.

"He has a huge serve. For me, it's one of the biggest serves I ever played. He has a lot of weapons. Most of all I'm super happy with how I handled everything mentally," he added.

Holger Rune will face the winner of the match between Nuno Borges and Nick Chappell in the second round in Acapulco.

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