“Why not start with the Australian Open,” says Holger Rune, a player intent on world domination

Loïc Padovani
January 13th, 2023

This article is more than 1 year old.

The Dane eyes another big year after a terrific end to his season in 2022

Holger Rune will be hungry for more success when the 2023 season kicks off in earnest next week with the first grand slam, the Australian Open.

The 19-year-old Dane, number 10 in the world ranking, is highly motivated to reach the very top.

“My expectations are to be number one in the world. I will not hide that fact. And if you’re planning to be that, you have to win a grand slam. And why not start in Australia?” the young Dane told BT.

Efforts to acclimatise
To win in Australia, Rune will have to cope with the warm temperatures. It is not uncommon for the thermometers to reach 38 degrees and beyond. The Dane, who’s not really used to that kind of weather, has been busy preparing himself for the heat.

“We made a program so we could put everything in at the beginning before the Australian Open. I spent a lot of hours in the heat with different sparring partners. It was tough, but I’m used to it,” he said.

“It’s about getting used to moving in it for a long time, because that’s necessary sometimes if you want to go all the way.”

Potential outsider
Rune didn’t get an easy draw. First he’ll have to get past 30-year-old Filip Krajinovic, the former world number 26. Krajinovic might be a clay court specialist, but he made the third round in both 2019 and 2021.

Should he make it to the third round, he’ll likely face the in-form Nick Kyrgios, the 19th-seeded Australian, and then Novak Djokovic – the tournament favourite – in the quarter-finals.

According to the bookies, the Dane is the ninth most likely player to win the tournament, rated 25/1 with Bet365.

Rune begins his quest to win the Australian Open on Tuesday. Most likely, Danish fans will wake up to the news of whether he won or lost in the early hours.


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