Holger Rune is the next wunderkind in Tennis, from the seemingly endless conveyor belt of new talent, who has made it into the second week of the Australian Open.
Hoping to emulate his fellow teen, Carlos Alcaraz, he was beaten by Russian Andrey Rublev, in his quest to capture one of the most open grand slams in recent memory.
Only that warhorse Novak Djokovic presents a significant stumbling block to the game’s next generation well and truly annexing the keys to the kingdom. Indeed aside from the wily Serbian, there is no previous slam winner in sight.
When the Dane picked up a racquet as a precocious six-year-old, he was earmarked as a future champion. A student of the game, he rose through the ranks of age-group tennis, culminating in him capturing the Paris Masters, his first Masters 1000 title last year.
He has made steady progress, breaking into the Top 10 and making a mockery of the rankings with his dominating displays against some of the best players in the world. The youth certainly have no fearlessness.
Although this defeat at the year’s first major was a bitter pill to swallow, make no mistake: Holger Rune is the real deal.
At 19, his physical attributes and dominant all-round game make him an ideal prototype for the modern-day tennis player.
In addition, he possesses a streak of ruthlessness. The manner of his Paris Masters triumph where he vanquished five players in the Top 10, suggests he fears no one, not even those idols who once adorned his walls. He is prone to odd outbursts and also not averse to some controversy – vital ingredients to stoke the competitive juices, even for a teenager.
He will no doubt lick his wounds and learn some lessons from his untimely loss; however tennis world has been put on notice. Generation Z is finally here and Holger Rune is coming for it all.