Holger Rune acknowledges Novak Djokovic’s superiority after ATP Finals defeat: “I never lost a match when I played good tennis”

Holger Rune’s recent uptick in form has been heavily attributed to his partnership with Boris Becker, but, in reality, much can be attributed to the Dane’s renewed hunger for victories and his passion for the game.

After a huge slump during the mid-season where he went on a 5-month streak of not stringing consecutive victories together, Rune has witnessed a resurgence in his game. However, when he did manage to play a near-perfect game against an ageless opponent, Rune still came short and eventually had words of praise for his competitor’s indomitable style of play.

Holger Rune reflects on loss to Djokovic

Ahead of their Paris Masters meeting, Holger Rune heavily discussed his renewed passion for the game and the possibility of repeating last year’s heroics against Novak Djokovic. However, the match ended in favour of the Serb and Rune was left ruing a missed opportunity.

In a matter of weeks, the pair met again in the Nitto ATP Finals. As world no.8, Holger Rune had just qualified for the tournament in the knick of time and had a tough task ahead of him in the tournament opener, one he was ready to face.

The world no.1 Serb was put under the sword in the first set and faltered, allowing Rune to close out the match. However, a tiebreaker in the second set favored the 36-year-old and that injected the required momentum into him to seal the match in three sets.

Rune was left dumbstruck at yet another missed opportunity and was left in awe of his opponent’s game. He self-described his game as “good” and felt Novak played even better than him, thus the result.

The victory sealed Novak’s status as world no.1 for the 2023 season, and Rune would go on to win his second-round encounter with Stefanos Tsitsipas through a walkover. This was Rune’s third loss to Djokovic overall and gave the Serb a 3-2 lead in their head-to-head meetings.

Nevertheless, despite his shortcomings, Holger Rune’s game was heavily praised by commentators of the game, who praised his renewed passion and hunger for the sport.

Mike James hails Rune’s Tennis passion

Holger Rune along with a few other youngsters like Carlos Alcaraz and Casper Ruud are the new breed of tennis players who are shaking up the sport like a storm. Never before have players achieved their success so early into their professional careers.

Holger Rune and Novak Djokovic at ATP Finals, via Daily Express

Such is the 20-year-old’s thirst for success, that Mike James, an integral member of Holger Rune’s support staff who provides data analysis for the Dane, shared his thoughts on his ability to conjure success after success on the tennis court.

“Lars at the time was super into video analysis and data analytics, as was Patrick Mouratoglou, and Holger is obsessed with the game,” said James. “He’s eating the tennis ball for lunch, dinner, and evening meal, and he’s always watching video and diving into it anyway. So it was a really nice fit.”

James also highlighted Rune’s dedication to tennis by sharing information on the Dane’s work with data analysis and video training. Victories in competitive tennis come down to utilizing an opponent’s weaknesses and errors to your strengths, and James delved into Rune’s ability to work with data to perform better on the court.

What are your opinions on Rune’s comments on Djokovic’s game? Let us know in the comments section below.


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