Holger Rune - Miami Open 2023

Holger Rune ‘should be’ part of ‘new big three’ claims 22-time Grand Slam champion

Holger Rune has been labelled ‘the game’s new antagonist’ by 22-time Grand Slam doubles champion Todd Woodbridge, who believes that the Dane should be put alongside Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner in the ‘new big three’.

Rune has been back in the headlines recently, after reaching the final in the Monte Carlo Masters, producing a comeback to retain his title in Munich and then being booed by the Madrid crowd in his defeat to Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.

Member of the current big three Novak Djokovic had previously joked about a ‘next big three’ of Alcaraz, Sinner and Rune, and Woodbridge has echoed the latter’s inclusion, “Holger Rune should be added to this list. It’s like he’s saying: ‘hold on just a minute, I am in this equation, and you need to start talking about me.'”

The former doubles No.1 continued, “I see him as the game’s new antagonist; I think he’s bringing really big energy to matches that are providing another story within tournaments. He’s an in-your-face player who is working his tail off.”

“I’ve been incredibly impressed watching his physical development; the building of the legs and the body to be robust, to be able to absorb everything. Talent requires ticking many boxes.”

While Woodbridge stated that he does not believe Rune has any weaknesses, he did reveal that he thinks his antagonising of opponents is often to his ‘detriment’.

“Currently I don’t see weaknesses; I only see opportunities to continue to make that better. What I love about him is that he’s not scared to win; he’s right in there and wants those victories,” said Woodbridge.

“He looks for distraction in matches by antagonising his opponent,” he said. “And at this point, it’s often to his detriment. He’s going to have to learn to contain that better because I think he makes it harder for himself sometimes.”

Woodbridge added, “[In the Roland Garros quarters last year] he annoyed Casper Ruud, and Ruud was flawless because of it. So that was a match he lost because of his behaviour, and some immaturity on his behalf in handling that big occasion.”

The Australian admitted that he was surprised at the level of the young players coming through, “We’ve had the big three, and this is the new three.”

“I never doubted that we would get great new players along, but what I didn’t expect is that we’d see this group of young players playing such high quality this early in their career. This is quality that guys play in their late 20’s, but these guys are playing it in their late teens and early 20’s already. That I didn’t think we were going to see.”

Holger Rune, Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner head-to-head

The outspoken 19-year-old has an interesting history with both Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner, with a win over both of them.

Here is the full head-to-head between the three young stars:

Holger Rune vs Carlos Alcaraz: 1-1

Last meeting (2022) – Rune beat Alcaraz, 6-3 6-6 (retired) (Paris Masters quarter-final)

Holger Rune vs Jannik Sinner: 2-0

Last meeting (2023) – Rune beat Sinner, 1-6 7-5 7-5 (Monte Carlo Masters semi-final)

Carlos Alcaraz vs Jannik Sinner: 3-3

Last meeting (2023) – Sinner beat Alcaraz, 6(4)-7 6-4 6-2 (Miami Open semi-final)

Career ATP Titles Current ATP ranking Career high ATP ranking
Holger Rune 4 (Including Paris Masters) No.7 No.7
Carlos Alcaraz 9 (Including US Open) No.2 No.1
Jannik Sinner 7 (Including ATP 500 Washington Open) No.8 No.8

 Join >> Receive $700/£600 of tennis gear from the Tennishead CLUB

 Social >> FacebookTwitter & YouTube

 Read >> World’s best tennis magazine

 Shop >> Lowest price tennis gear from our trusted partner 

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.