Holger Rune - Wimbledon 2023

Holger Rune ‘not satisfied’ until he becomes world No.1

Holger Rune has revealed his ‘determination’ to become the best in the world, as he commented on the importance of rivalries in tennis.

Rune is currently at a career-high ATP ranking of No.6, after winning the Paris Masters at the end of last year and reaching the final of the Monte Carlo and Rome Masters events this year.

The Dane has also made improved performances at the majors in 2023, reaching the fourth round of the Australian Open, matching his quarter-final performance at Roland Garros and following it up with a first quarter-final on the grass of Wimbledon.

Rune has spoken about his rise over the past year, “I improved a lot, both mentally, physically. I really took everything much more serious I would say and I was really determined to push every single day, every tournament I played. I feel like after the [2022] US Open swing, I really worked even harder and I got to the level where I wanted to be.”

Although Rune is at a career-high ranking, he has admitted that he will not be satisfied until he takes the No.1 ranking currently held by fellow 20-year-old Carlos Alcaraz.

“I’m happy to be No. 6, but I’m not satisfied. And I don’t want to end at No. 6. I want to be No. 1, it’s no secret,” claimed Rune. “Right now I’m also trying to work 10 times harder than I did in the beginning of the year. So hopefully, everything will come together.”

However, he did reveal that he would choose a Grand Slam title over the No.1 ranking, “I’m more motivated to win tournaments. I would rather win a Grand Slam and then be sixth in the world, than not win a Grand Slam and then be No.1 in the world. So for me it’s about tournaments.”

There has been a lot of discussion about a potential new ‘big three’ consisting of Rune, Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner, and while the Dane has claimed it is too early to be discussing that, he does appear to enjoy rivalries in the sport.

“I do really enjoy it. And I think why rivalries are so important for the sport is because it grows it bigger,” explained Rune. “It gets more interest in the sport and if you only have one great player, of course, it’s nice for that one good player. But it’s not as competitive [as] if you have many.

“I think what Roger [Federer], Rafa [Nadal] and Novak [Djokovic] did and also [Bjorn] Borg, [John[ McEnroe, they [brought] tennis to another level and another dimension, and hopefully we can do that also.”

Rune will look to continue his path to the No.1 ranking this week, as he competes at the Toronto Masters for the first time in his career, and will play Marcos Giron in the second round after receiving a bye.

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Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.