Holger Rune Details How Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic are Similar on and off the Court

Published 05/25/2021, 2:20 AM EDT
Novak Djokovic of Serbia shakes hands with Roger Federer of Switzerland at the net following victory in his Men’s Singles final during Day thirteen of The Championships – Wimbledon 2019 at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in London, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)


For an 18-year-old, rising Danish tennis player Holger Rune has had a hit with some of the biggest stars in the sport but there’s only one who impressed him the most. Currently ranked 313th in singles, Rune has literally practiced with everyone top lining the contemporary men’s tennis field. Ahead of the season-ending ATP Finals, the Dane had hits with Roger Federer, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Daniil Medvedev, and Alexander Zverev.

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Holger Rune names Roger Federer as his favorite player

Earlier this year, Rune knocked tennis balls with current World No. 1 Novak Djokovic in Monte-Carlo ahead of the latter’s return at the Masters.

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MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 30: Novak Djokovic of Serbia walks past Roger Federer of Switzerland during change of ends in their Men’s Singles Semifinal match on day eleven of the 2020 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 30, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

However, to a question on which of the big stars left the deepest impression on him, the 18-year-old picked Federer.

The Dane said the Swiss happens to be his favorite tennis star and what struck him the most about him was how he switches from being chilled out to going hard at practice. “My favorite player is Roger, but I just warmed up with him (for) like 30 minutes. He is very chilled but I guess in practice he goes so hard,” Rune said.

Holger Rune says Novak Djokovic is fun off court but focused on it

Rune said that Djokovic gave him similar vibes of being fun and friendly off-court and dead-focused at practice. “Novak was very impressive. How he is so focused in practice and still talk outside the court and have fun,” the young Dane said.

Rune, who turned professional last year and has a win/loss record of 2-5 so far this season, said that Djokovic often indulges in light-hearted conversations off the court, but when “he is on, he is on” and a fair reflection of the same can be seen in his matches.

On Zverev and the other big Next-Gen stars who are tipped to take the proverbial torch from the Big 3 (combined nickname for Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Djokovic), the Dane said “they are all working so hard”.

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After losing in the first round to Norwegian Casper Ruud at the Monte-Carlo Masters, Rune cleared the qualifiers to seal passage to the main draw at Barcelona Open. However, he was worked over by Albert Ramos Vinolas of Spain in the opening round.

He reached the pre-quarters of ongoing Open De Oeiras IV with a straight-set win over Dutchman Tim van Rijthoven on Monday.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

978 articles

Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.

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