The feat experienced in the final part of last season has put Holger Rune in the spotlight. The young Danish tennis player won his first Masters 1000 by beating Novak Djokovic in one of the best finals of the year at Paris-Bercy.
Victory in France allowed Rune to appear as a reserve at the ATP Finals in Turin and break into the top ten at the age of 19. The 2003-born tennis player will face Filip Krajinovic in the first round of the Australian Open and, due to the sudden resignation of Nick Kyrgios, was only able to face one of the tournament’s top seeds starting in the round of 16.
«I’m training well to try to do my best in the first week. I really want to play. The match against Djokovic in Paris gave me a lot of confidence. Even before the match I was very nervous. It was difficult to play my first Grand Final against a player like Novak, but I rose to the challenge and winning gave me a confidence boost.
It has been one of the best games I have ever played. I still feel very happy when I think about that performance,» Rune said at the press conference. «I’ve always had to deal with expectations in my life. I am very happy to be able to face the greatest, it is what I have always dreamed of.
I want to achieve important results. The mental aspect is very important in tennis. You have to be able to make important decisions quickly and be courageous in the moments that matter. I work a lot on this aspect, as well as my physical form.
Dealing with emotions and pressure is part of the life of a tennis player. He was number one on the junior circuit and always had to win. I want to stay calm and play my best tennis in the important moments.»
Djokovic remains the clear favorite in the AO
Novak Djokovic remains the clear favorite to win the 2023 Australian Open title, but Rafael Nadal is in second place, believes Djokovic’s PTPA co-founder and Canadian tennis star Vasek Pospisil.
«I hope he (Djokovic) wins it,» Pospisil told Stadium Astro. «I would consider him the favourite, absolutely. If you have to pick a favourite, it’s hard to pick someone else. Having said that, obviously there are so many great players and incredible talent coming together for a week.
Obviously, just him being Rafa, he clearly has a great chance to win as well, and he would have to be up there. Just below Novak as favourite, I would say,» added the Canadian.