‘I was accused of being a…’

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Holger Rune enjoyed an incredible season finale and finished 2022 in 11th place in the world rankings. The Danish tennis player won the first Masters 1000 of his career by beating Novak Djokovic, 21-time Slam champion, in one of the best finals of the year.

The Copenhagen native also became the first tennis player to beat five top ten players – Hubert Hurkacz, Andrey Rublev, Carlos Alcaraz, Felix Auger-Aliassime and Djokovic – in the same tournament since 1973, excluding the ATP Finals.

“I had many idols growing up. Now that I’m a professional player, I focus on being the best version of myself. Even playing tennis, there are athletes who inspire me – Djokovic is one of them. The Serb is a fantastic tennis player and I try to learn a lot from him: the take from him, the precision of his shots and the fitness of him,” Rune explained in an interview with Relevant Tennis.

“Winning in Paris against him was incredible. It has been a dream final against a rival whom I respect a lot for everything he has achieved in the world of tennis. Novak has always been very generous. As I have said before, he is a great inspiration to me.

The big three are very special. I was very happy to see Novak win the ATP Finals in Turin and equal Roger Federer in another statistic.” Lastly, Rune referred to the goals he will try to achieve next year. “In December, my coach and I set our goals for the following season.

For us, the ranking is not just a number. We analyze all the tournaments I plan to play. In 2022, I set out to reach the top 25, and I far exceeded it.”

Djokovic is an inspiration

Novak Djokovic recently opened up about the criticism he is often subjected to from the tennis media.

“I know that people sometimes think I’m fake, that I do certain things because I want to be loved. It’s not like that, I’m just trying to be genuine. It’s something we’re losing,” Djokovic said. “It is not possible to please everyone but by now the politically correct forces us to give up expressing our ideas with respect, without hatred, but with freedom.

Freedom of speech for me today is just an illusion. I had an extraordinary example of this this year, with what happened to me around the vaccine issue,” Djokovic said. “I expressed myself for the freedom to be able to dispose of one’s body, and immediately I was accused of being a no-vax, which I am not. If you don’t belong to a certain way of thinking, you quickly become the bad guy. That’s no good.”

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