Holger Rune, the current World No. 2 junior, wants to follow in the footsteps of Spanish tennis legend Rafael Nadal. Rune has his sights set on breaking Nadal's record of 13 French Open titles.
The 17-year-old, who won the French Open junior title last year and reached the World No. 1 spot in the ITF junior rankings, has just begun making his foray into the professional circuit. He is currently ranked a career-high No. 551 in the ATP rankings.
Inspired by Rafael Nadal's historic victory at the French Open on Sunday, Rune is dreaming big. The Dane told TV 2 SPORT:
"Rafael Nadal is really inspiring and so bold a character. I work every day to be able to be as good as him. I'm not at his level yet. There's still some way to go, but I believe I can beat his record."
Holger Rune won his first ITF Tour title last month at the M25 event in Klosters, Switzerland, and also reached another ITF final in Spain the following week.
The Dane, who trains at the Patrick Mouratoglou Academy, admitted that it would be a very difficult task involving a lot of hard work. He added that he is prepared to do whatever it takes, and that he has been working with his coach on specific goals.
"I just talked about goals with my coach. In a year, I will be in the top 100. In two years, I will be at the very top. I believe in it. I know what it takes. It's not going to be easy and it's a lot of hard work," Rune said.
Rafael Nadal has the potential to win even more titles at Roland Garros: Holger Rune's coach
Former Danish player Kenneth Carlsen, who peaked at No. 41 in the world rankings, is one of the coaches who is working with Holger Rune currently.
Carlsen believes the teenager has the potential to win a Grand Slam and be among the world's best. However, he admitted that breaking Rafael Nadal's record at the French Open is more of an aspirational goal that Rune has set to motivate himself.
"It's something of a record to want to beat. Rafael Nadal is not even finished yet and he has the potential to win even more titles. So he has to play really well. Of course you have to have some goals, but to beat 13 titles at the French Open, it's completely insane. I wish all I can that Holger can break that record. I think he has the potential to win Grand Slam tournaments. He also has the potential to become No. 1 in the world. Whether it can then become records...I don't know, but it will be a motivating factor," Carlsen said.Published 14 Oct 2020, 14:58 IST