Novak Djokovic - US Open 2023

Novak Djokovic names ATP player he sees as ‘similar’ to him

Novak Djokovic says he sees Holger Rune as very ‘similar’ to himself after he came through a tough test against the Dane in Paris.

The pair met in the quarterfinals this year – a rematch of last year’s final which Rune won – and Djokovic was able to overcome an awful second set tiebreak to win 7-5, 6-7 (3-7), 6-4.

Although Djokovic is famed for, among other qualities, his mental toughness, he says he has recognised a similar trait in Rune, who survived a match point in the second set to keep his dogged defence of the title alive.

It’s something that Djokovic has plenty of admiration for.

“It was quite a similar match to last year’s final, it was any body’s game in every set,” Djokovic said.

“I played an awful tie-break in the second set, probably the worst one this year. But again credit to him for staying mentally tough and playing solid.

“We have similar games. Move well, defend well and all-round players.”

Novak Djokovic doing Jude Bellingham celebration

While Djokovic is no stranger to a crowd cheering against him, he didn’t take kindly to boos from the Parisian crowd during the content, and he went against his usual instinct to ‘react’.

That culminated in a celebration borrowed from England and Real Madrid football star Jude Bellingham, and Djokovic claimed the whole incident gave him the ‘energy’ he needed to win the match.

“Sometimes you just have to stay calm and focus on what needs to be done in the next point,” Djokovic said when asked about boos from the crowd.“ Actually most of the time that is probably the best thing you can do.

“But sometimes you react, you feed off that energy.”

READ MORE: Novak Djokovic surpasses Rafael Nadal statistic with Paris win

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Michael Graham, Editor, has been a professional sports journalist for his whole career and is especially passionate about tennis. He's been the Editor of for over 5 years and loves watching live tennis by visiting as many tournaments as possible. Michael specialises in writing in-depth features about the ATP & WTA tours.