Djokovic and Nadal have a new threat as Rune watches Grand Slam – exclusive

Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal are set to have even more players threatening their chances of winning the big titles next season, as recent Paris Masters winner Holger Rune shared his confident goal of lifting his first Grand Slam title. in 2023. The teenager started the year ranked outside the top 100 and ended it by making his top 10 debut, and is now looking for even more success after defeating Djokovic to win the biggest title of his young career.

Rune has been one of the standout players of the season, beginning the year at world number 103 before making his top-10 debut just 11 months after winning the Paris Masters. Born just six days before Carlos Alcaraz, his impressive season passed unnoticed in comparison to that of his teenage partner, but he proved he was every bit as exciting as the Spaniard when he became the first man to beat five of the top 10 players in the way to a title out. of the ATP Finals.

The Paris Masters title was the culmination of an already successful year for the Dane, who defeated Alexander Zverev en route to his first title in Munich in May before defeating Stefanos Tsitsipas to win Stockholm, finishing the year with nine wins between top 10. Name. And Rune is now banking on having an even bigger season in 2023, as he shared his belief that he could lift a Major title.

“Earlier this year, I increased my goals from 25 at the end of the year to the top 15 of the year,” the current world number 11 told Express Sport exclusively, having exceeded his expectations when he made his top-10 debut on 7 November, with him and Alcaraz becoming the first teen duo in the top 10 since Djokovic and Andy Murray 15 years ago.

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“I haven’t made my target plan for 2023 yet, I usually do it with my coach in pre-season, but for sure now I’ll focus on winning Grand Slams,” the three-time title winner continued. Rune was confident in his goal in explaining why he believed he could add his name to the list of Grand Slam titles and deny Djokovic and Nadal the chance to set new records.

He added: “I think I can. I won ATP 250, I reached the final of an ATP 500 and I won a Masters 1000”. As for his ranking, it was another towering target for the confident Dane who was eyeing the next milestone of breaking into the top five, while toying with the idea of ​​becoming world number 1.

“And surely my goal for 2023 will be a top five ranking,” Rune said. “Maybe even 1-3.” While Rune is aiming high, he has already shown that he can exceed even his own expectations, as he had hoped to win at least one tournament at the ATP 250 level this year while trying to do well at the biggest events, rather than ending the year with a bang. Masters, two ATP 250 tournaments and his first Grand Slam quarterfinal at the French Open, where he beat last year’s runner-up Tsitsipas.

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Reflecting on his season, the world number 11 said there had been no clear turning point in revealing the work that went into achieving his great results. “I knew that 2022 would be a challenging year,” he explained.

“There is not a single tournament that is not the first time for me. My goal was to win an ATP 250 and do my best in Masters 1000 and Grand Slams. There is no easy path to success. It takes a lot of hard work to win tournaments and compete at the highest level.

“This meant that I had to do better in every area of ​​my game and also off the court in terms of what I eat etc. There is nothing that has made 2022 a success. It’s all the little improvements in everything I do every day that made 2022 a good year for me.”

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