Three potentially biggest challengers to Carlos Alcaraz’s throne

Mandatory Credit: Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports /
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(Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
(Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images) /

Carlos Alcaraz challenger No. 2 – Holger Rune

Rune is just a week older than Alcaraz, and like the Spaniard, the Dane is likely going to take up permanent residence in the ATP top ten. Currently, Rune has been ranked number 6 since early May and has been in the top 10 since the second week of January. Rune even has a head-to-head lead over Novak Djokovic (2-1) and Stefanos Tsitsipas (2-0).

That’s not a lot of action between those guys, but for a player still just basically starting off as Rune is, to already have a winning record over the all-time Grand Slam champion is impressive. Head-to-head against Carlos Alcaraz, Rune trails 1-2 but with likely more than a decade to move ahead in the matchup.

Rune hasn’t won a tournament on grass yet, but he showed at the Queen’s Club that he’s capable of playing better. Rune made the semifinals in that tourney. He made the quarterfinals at Wimbledon before falling to Alcaraz in three tight sets 7-6(3) 6-4 6-4. At this point, Rune isn’t the player that Alcaraz has proven he can be on grass, but Rune is improving.

Rune’s best chance to challenge Alcaraz at majors could come as soon as the US Open. He has won four career titles with two coming on indoor hardcourts. Or maybe Rune beats Alcaraz on clay a few times next year, including at the French Open. The great thing is the two players have faced off in tight matches before and there are probably many more to come.