Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal ‘not gods’ says 18-year-old player Holger Rune

Holger Rune plays a shot

Holger Rune is an up-and-coming player with plenty of potential talent and hopes that one day he can overtake the ‘Big Three’ and be the next Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic or Roger Federer.

However, he knows all too well that these players are prone to mistakes and they aren’t always flawless in their game.

The 18-year-old took a set off Novak Djokovic at the US Open earlier in the year as the Serbian was looking to add to his Grand Slam tally while the young player currently ranked No 103 in the world was just getting his first ever taste of playing in a major tournament.

“I was obviously very nervous, I had time to prepare myself mentally for what was going to happen,” the Dane told EssentiallySports.

“It’s great to also try to compete against these guys, but also, they’re not gods, so they make mistakes.

“They take some weird choices on the court because they are also nervous – they are human.”

Rune had a successful breakthrough season this year, not only did he qualify for his first Grand Slam at Flushing Meadows, he also won an ITF title, made his ATP debut at the Argentina Open and became the youngest player to reach the quarterfinal in an ATP Tour event since 2014 with his performance at the Chile Open.

He was also a fan favourite during his US Open match with Djokovic after all 23,000 fans were chanting his name, but he wants that to happen more often by becoming as successful as the world No 1.

He revealed: “Well, that’s the plan, I hope so, I’m telling myself also to come take over!

“We’ve already seen some new guys like (Alexander) Zverev and (Daniil) Medvedev, but still it’s great not to see Roger (Federer), Rafa (Nadal) all the time and Novak, even though they are probably the best of our sport.

“We miss those matches where they played against each other but it’s still good fun for the audience to have some new blood and some new energy.”

The 2022 season starts in Australia where Djokovic will be representing Serbia in the ATP Cup while it’s unknown whether Nadal will have recovered from his Covid-19 infection in time and Federer is still yet to set a date for his comeback after undergoing a third surgery on his knee.