Danish Holger Rune, for many, he was a stranger. He made his Grand Slam main draw debut on Tuesday and the stage to perform was ideal: against Novak Djokovic at Arthur Ashe and in primetime. His charisma and firepower caught the attention of the American public and, despite the defeat in four, he received applause that he will surely never forget.
The truth is that, in any case, what the 18-year-old showed before the 20-time Major champion is nothing more than confirmation of his present and his future projection. Together with the Spanish Carlos Alcaraz, already affirmed in the Top 100, they are the leaders of the 2003 litter and the Nordic considers him a great rival but at the same time an enormous motivation.
Born in Copenhagen, he touched the sky with his hands at the youth level when he won Roland Garros U18 at age 16 (in 2019). He reached number one and quickly devoted his career to the professional circuit. These first years of adaptation did not hide their ability to generate winners from any side of the court, especially with his top-class backhand, or his charisma that makes you want to see his games.
2021 is clearly the year in which you are making the leap to the main stages and gaining great experiences. He entered the game against Djokovic with 13 successes in a row after winning two Challengers (he has three in total in brick dust, exposing his versatility) and three matches in the standings. Some commercial invitations to ATP tournaments – he reached the quarterfinals in Santiago de Chile – during this season also helped him climb the ranking. He is accompanied anywhere in the world by his mother Aneke, who according to him is the great pillar of his career.
His relationship with her is so close and complicit that she even defends him in his worst moments, in those when his youth is exposed: A few months ago, at the Biella Challenger, Rune made headlines for making homophobic comments during a match and it was his mother who, in the first measure, made a discharge on social networks. Later, the young promise apologized and admitted his mistake after receiving a financial fine from the ATP.
The 145 of the world is a complete combo. Brilliant tennis, presence and also temperament, with things to correct. He has a long way to go, but his projection is undeniable and he was exposed before the eyes of the world at this US Open.