Roland Garros: Novak Djokovic is still the favorite for Holger Rune
Holger Rune would like to celebrate his first major title in Roland Garros - but the Dane does not have himself at the top of the list of favorites. Novak Djokovic does.
by Jens Huiber
last edit: May 24, 2023, 02:05 pm
Just as Holger Rune has gotten to know over the past few months, the second final defeat at an ATP Masters 1000 tournament of the year will not keep him busy forever. After his bankruptcy against Andrey Rublev in Monte Carlo, he won the title in Munich a few days later with a miraculous comeback in the final against Botic van de Zandschulp. And the situation in Rome was different from that in the Principality: Rune actually had to play the match against Daniil Medvedev on the defensive from the start. Against Rublev there was a seemingly certain victory out of hand.
Don't worry, the young Dane's crown has certainly been set. Because the big prize will be awarded on sand, as every year, in Roland Garros. This time without Rafael Nadal. But of course with Novak Djokovic, against whom Holger Rune won in Rome. Which doesn't change the respect for the 22-time Grand Slam champion.
Only Medvedev has beaten Djokovic at a major
"I think Novak is still the main favourite," Rune explained on the final Sunday in Rome. "He is the one with the most Grand Slam victories among the participants and the most experienced." But the chasing pack is close, according to Rune. "Then we have Alcaraz. And Medvedev. There are many boys. But if I really had to pick a favourite, it would be Novak.”
In fact, there is only one man from the ranks of title contenders who has ever defeated Novak Djokovic in a major over three winning sets: Daniil Medvedev at the US Open 2021. That year in Flushing Meadows, Holger Rune also had the Serbian grandmaster for the first time Challenged in a Grand Slam match. And after an intermediate high in the second round, they lost in four sets without a chance.