Rune names next Big Three to follow Nadal, Djokovic and Federer
Holger Rune announced his arrival on the tennis circuit by beating Novak Djokovic to win his first Masters 1000 title at the Paris Masters last year and he insists he is here to stay. The Danish star, who was knocked out at the third round stage of this week’s Miami Open, believes he can be part of a new Big Three in tennis – after Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have joined Roger Federer in retirement.
The 19-year-old’s 2022 exploits were impressive but were outdone by fellow teenager Carlos Alcaraz who won the US Open and finished the year as world No.1.
And the Dane believes recent Indian Wells winner Alcaraz and seven-time ATP title winner Jannik Sinner will join him in the next Big Three. He said: “I hope the trio will be me, then (Carlos) Alcaraz, who has already shown that he knows how to win Grand Slams, and finally (Jannik) Sinner.
“He has an incredible attitude. He looks like he’s been on the tour for a lifetime but he’s just 21, and every time he plays he shows improvement.” Alcaraz and Sinner were missing from the opening Grand Slam tournament of the season in Australia and were unable to challenge Djokovic as the Serbian clinched a record-equalling 22nd major title.
Meanwhile, Rune suffered a fourth round defeat in Melbourne and will hope to improve his form on the clay courts ahead of this year’s French Open – after reaching the last eight in 2022. Rune believes that the records set by Djokovic, Nadal and Federer are ‘there to be broken’ in future years.
Speaking to Express Sport last year he said: “Who won the most titles, who won the most Grand Slams, who was No 1 for the longest time. I mean all these guys are incredible. They achieved something that is history making. It pushes also the younger generations to what’s possible.
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“Records are there to be broken. And now the guys made us work even harder to break records. That’s good for the future of tennis. The level will increase even more.”
“I think players like Federer, Novak, Nadal, Murray showed us the extreme high level of tennis and this is what makes the young generation so good today. I hope we can continue like that in tennis, raising the level even more. I think it is possible.”
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