“Felt Like I’m Roger Federer”: Holger Rune Responds to Receiving Crowd Support Against Novak Djokovic at US Open 2021

Published 09/01/2021, 1:58 PM EDT
LONDON, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 14: Roger Federer of Switzerland is interviewed after his victory over Novak Djokovic of Serbia during Day Five of the Nitto ATP World Tour Finals at The O2 Arena on November 14, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by TPN/Getty Images)


In the first round of the US Open 2021, Novak Djokovic took on the young Holger Rune. Contrary to what many expected, Rune put up a phenomenal fight against the World No.1. He was positive, determined, and riled on by the crowd. Despite losing the match, it was a brilliant exposure for the Danish player against one of the world’s best. In a recent candid chat, Rune spoke about how the crowds in New York made him feel like Roger Federer.

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Arthur Ashe stadium goes wild for Rune

Aug 31, 2021; Flushing, NY, USA; Holger Vitus Nodskov Rune of Denmark hits to Novak Djokovic of Serbia on day two of the 2021 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Walking out onto Arthur Ashe stadium for the first time ever, nerves could have easily gotten the better of the 18-year-old. But this wasn’t the case, as he seemed confident right from the get-go. Though the young qualifier was pummeled in the opening set, he never lost hope. Surprisingly enough, the crowd was backing Rune all the way.

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Throughout the course of the match, the packed Arthur Ashe crowd chanted “Rune! Rune!” in favor of Denmark’s rising talent. Although it sounded like they were booing, they were in fact backing the inexperienced youngster. This surely helped, as Holger Rune claimed the second set, before eventually bowing out. Nonetheless, it was a great match from him against one of the tour’s finest.

‘Felt like I’m Roger Federer’: Holger Rune

Tennis – Wimbledon – All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain – July 5, 2021 Switzerland’s Roger Federer celebrates winning his fourth round match against Italy’s Lorenzo Sonego REUTERS/Paul Childs

It is not very common for a qualifier making his debut, to receive such loud cheers. As is the case with Novak Djokovic many-a-time, he was not the fan-favorite on the night. Yet, as he does most of the time, he drew out his inner mental strength to overcome the challenge. In a recent chat with Patrick Mouratoglou, the teenager reflected on his Round-1 performance.

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Speaking about the match, he told the tennis coach about the unexpectedness in receiving such loud cheers. Upon being asked about the atmosphere in the night session, Rune had a hilarious response. “I felt like I’m Roger Federer out on the court,” said the Dane. He also suggested that though the scoreboard may not have shown it, he felt like he played at a high level throughout the match.

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What did you make of Holger Rune’s performance at Flushing Meadows? There is no doubt that he has the weapons to become a great player for the future. We hope to see the Danish star back on the big stage soon, as he was surely an entertaining asset on the court!

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Sankalp Harikrishnan

240 articles

Sankalp Harikrishnan is a tennis and NBA writer at EssentiallySports. He aspires to pursue Sports Journalism and has represented his institution in cricket, badminton, football, and table tennis. Apart from his professional desires, Sankalp does voluntary service with his friends to feed hungry animals on a regular basis.

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