Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer & Novak Djokovic ‘are not Gods, they’re human too’ says ATP star

Holger Rune has said Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal “are not Gods” and reveals he plans to be amongst the world’s next best players.

All three of Djokovic, Federer and Nadal boast a historic 20 Grand Slam titles apiece as they compete against each other to become the most successful male player of all time.

Promising Danish prospect Rune qualified for the Next Gen ATP Finals in November but was eliminated in the group stage after losing two matches and winning just one.

18-year-old Rune also faced 20-time Grand Slam champion and title favourite Djokovic in the first round of the US Open. Whilst Djokovic won convincingly, Rune won the second set via a tie-break.

Speaking about this encounter in an interview with Essentially Sports, Rune said “I was obviously very nervous. I had time to prepare myself mentally for what was gonna happen.”

“I think already, in this age as an 18-year-old, to take a set [off Novak Djokovic] is a great achievement. Something I can be proud of and build on, which I did afterwards.

“It’s great to also try to compete against these guys (Djokovic, Federer and Nadal). But also, they’re not gods, so they make mistakes. They take some weird choices on the court because they are also nervous. They’re also human.”

When asked about the next generation and whether he sees himself amongst the next set of the world’s best players, Rune said “well, that’s the plan, I hope so! I’m telling myself also to come take over!

“We’ve already seen some new guys like [Alexander] Zverev and [Daniil] Medvedev. But still it’s great not to see Roger, Rafa all the time and Novak, even though they are probably the best of our sport.

“We miss those matches where they played against each other but it’s still good fun for the audience to have some new blood and some new energy.”

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Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.