Teenage Prodigy Rune Draws Inspiration From Practice Session With Novak Djokovic - UBITENNIS
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Teenage Prodigy Rune Draws Inspiration From Practice Session With Novak Djokovic

Despite being just 17 Rune has set some very ambitious targets to achieve over the next two years.




The world’s top ranked junior player says his recent meeting with Novak Djokovic has left him with a desire to improve his own game as he bid to rise to the top of the men’s Tour.


Holder Rune secured a hitting session with the world No.1 in Monte Carlo after sending him a message via Instagram. The Danish 17-year-old won the 2019 French Open boys’ title and claimed his first win on the ATP Tour earlier this year. Doing so at the Santiago Open where he came through qualifying before defeating Benoit Paire en route to the quarter-finals.

Describing Djokovic as the ‘most complete player he has ever met’ Rune said their recent practice gave him plenty to think about over the coming months. Including areas of his game which he hopes to improve.

“When I practiced with Djokovic, I understood that he’s not strong in tennis only. He is the most complete player I have ever met both mentally and physically,” he told JuniorTennis Italia.
“I understood why many players have a hard time beating him: I left the court in Monte-Carlo with so much inspiration and I wrote down a lot of things I want to improve in the next weeks.”

The teenage rising star says he was given an insight into what it takes to reach the top of the sport. Djokovic has spent more weeks as world No.1 than anybody else in ATP Tour history since the ranking system was introduced.

He showed me what it takes to become and be number one: it’s not just passion and good tennis, it’s so much more,” Rune said of the Serbian. “I think many players have the tennis to become number one but to be number one for such a long time as Djokovic, Federer and Nadal did, it’s beyond the next level. I want to master this, this is fascinating“.

Rune is coached on the Tour by Lars Christensen, who has been working with him since the age of six. Besides his home country of Denmark, he also trains at the Mouratoglou Tennis Academy in France.

Despite his young age and being ranked 308th in the world, Rune has already set himself some big goals to achieve. Including an ambitious target of trying to crack the top 30 within the next two years. To put that into context Djokovic was 19 when he first broke into the world’s top 30.

My goal is to become Top-100 this year and Top-20/30 within 2022: from this second step, I will work my way up to reach number one. I hope that I will be able to enter some good tournaments, I have no problem in playing qualification rounds so I hope some ATP tournaments will give me a chance by offering wild cards,” he outlined.

The root of Rune’s ambition comes from what he describes as adversity he faces due to where he comes from. Comparing his situation to that of somewhere such as Spain which has a significantly more sophisticated tennis system in place. Rune is only of only two Danish players ranked in the top 1000 on the men’s Tour. The other is world No.191 Mikael Torpegaard.

“I don’t get the same opportunities as if I was French, Italian, Spanish or from another big tennis nation: this makes the journey tougher.” He said.
“I didn’t get any wild card or extra benefits in Juniors and I still made records both in being the youngest player to win Roland Garros and Junior Finals in 2019 and I have been number one in ITF Rankings in 2019, 2020 and 2021.’
“I am used to fighting my way up and achieve my goals without an helping hand: I will do it again, you can make it difficult but you can’t stop me.”

Rune played at the Andalucía Challenger this week in Spain where he was seeded second in the qualifying draw. He lost in the second round to wildcard Carlos Sanchez Jover.


Filip Krajinovic To Skip Australian Open If Required To Quarantine For More Than Five Days

The world No.34 says he ‘sees no reason’ why vaccinated players should have to go through a long quarentine in Australia.




Image via twitter.com/atptour (Alexander Scheuber)

The second highest-ranked Serbian player in men’s tennis says it would be ‘unacceptable’ for organisers of the Australian Open to require players to quarantine for more than a week if they have been fully vaccinated.


Filip Krajinovic has become the first player to publicly state that they will not be prepared to travel to Melbourne at the end of this season if they have to go through strict quarantine measures once again. All the players who participated in this year’s Australian Open were required to be quarantined in a designated hotel for 14 days upon arrival in the country. During their stay they were allowed to use training facilities but that was the only time they could leave the premises unless there was an emergency.

There is no final decision regarding the travel requirements for the 2022 tournament but there are concerns that unvaccinated players may not be allowed to enter the country. The Victorian government recently issued a mandate ordering all essential workers to be vaccinated, including athletes. However, the regional government will not have the final say concerning tennis players arriving in the country with the national government being the ones in charge of that decision.

“They are very rigorous there and honestly, if I have to be in quarantine for 14 days after arriving in Melbourne, I will not go to Australia,” Krajinovic told Serbian newspaper Blic.
“I was vaccinated, I did everything in my power to protect myself and the people around me, so I really see no reason to sit there for 14 days in a room.’
“If they (the organisers) say that after arrival I need, say, five days to be in isolation, that’s OK for me, but anything beyond that is unacceptable to me. With the season ending late, I will have 20 days to get ready and go. Charter flights will be organized again and the last one is planned for December 28 for the players and that is the final date when I can go to Australia. I will see what the final decision from Melbourne will be, so I will cut what is the best thing to do.”

Earlier this week Victoria’s Sports minister Martin Pakula urged players to be vaccinated because it give them ‘the best opportunity to play in the Australian Open.’ It is expected that if unvaccinated players are allowed to attend, they will be subjected to stricter restrictions. This might include a longer quarantine period upon arrival and limitations of where they can go during their stay.

Last year, all of those players had to do their 14 days of quarantine. Right now there looks like there will be different rules for people who enter this country who are vaccinated as against unvaccinated and I don’t think the tennis will be any exception to that.” Pakula told the Sports Entertainment Network (SEN).
“In terms of what rules apply for people to enter Australia, whether unvaccinated people are allowed in at all, I don’t the answer to that yet. That’s going to be the subject of discussion at national cabinet and among the federal cabinet … those rules are not set by state governments.” He added.

Krajinovic is currently ranked 34th in the world and has a win-loss record this season of 18-18. At the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells he reached the second round before falling in straight sets to Daniil Medvedev. His best run so far this year was at the Hamburg Open where he reached the final.

“When we look at the whole of 2021, I played one final, one semifinal, there were good victories, but also worse results,” the 29-year-old commented.

Krajinovic is currently without a coach but is currently in ‘negotiations’ with somebody without elaborating further about who that person is.

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Alexander Zverev Secures Place In ATP Finals With Indian Wells Win

Zverev will be seeking to win the season-ending extravaganza for the second time in his career.




Alexander Zverev (GER) Credit: AELTC/Edward Whitaker

Germany’s Alexander Zverev has become the fourth player to officially qualify for the ATP Finals after reaching the third round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.


The world No.4 defeated America’s Jenson Brooksby 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, in his second round match on Sunday which pushed him over the points threshold to secure his spot in the end-of-season event. It is the fifth year in a row he has qualified for the ATP Finals which he won back in 2018. He is one of only three German players to ever win the title after Boris Becker and Michael Stich.

This year’s tournament will take place in Turin, Italy for the first time in history after being held at The O2 Arena in London for more than a decade. Only the eight highest ranked players are eligible to play in the round-robin tournament which has on offer up to 1500 rankings points for an undefeated champion.

“My first time in Turin. I’ve been to London four times before. London is obviously very special to me because I won there, as well. I think the stadium is incredible, one of the most special events that we had,” Zverev told reporters on Sunday.
“But I also love playing in Italy. I had great success in Italy. I won my first Masters in Rome. I’m looking forward to being there. I’m looking forward to playing in front of the Italian fans. It’s going to be a great week.”

The 24-year-old approaches the final quarter of this season with four titles already won this year. He has won two Masters 1000 trophies, an ATP 500 event in Mexico and a gold medal in singles at the Tokyo Olympic Games. Zverev, who has recorded seven wins over top 10 players, also reached the semi-finals at both the French Open and US Open.

Zverev joins Novak Djokovic, Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas as the players who have qualified for the ATP Finals so far. It is the third straight season the quartet has qualified for the event.

This year’s ATP Finals will get underway on November 14th. Medvedev is the defending champion.

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Denis Shapovalov Advances After Pospisil Retires In Indian Wells

The battle of the two Canadians didn’t go as planned…




Denis Shapovalov (CAN) Credit: AELTC/Edward Whitaker

Vasek Pospisil faced off against his fellow Canadian Denis Shapovalov in the second round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells and it was the world number 13 who got the win after the Vernon native pulled out due to an injury whilst trailing 0-3.


It was a rough start for Pospisil who seemed to struggle with his serve in the opening game of the match and double-faulted twice in a row to give the early break and Shapovalov had no issues consolidating the break.

Shapovalov continued to apply pressure on the Pospisil serve and after saving two breakpoints the world number 68 pulled up after a serve and stopped play, calling for the trainer. He ended up taking a medical timeout off the court and a couple of minutes later returned to court. Pospisil was broken once again and the following game after a couple of returns decided to call it quits.

” It was pretty awful…and if I’m being honest I am shaking a bit…It really sucks I hope it’s nothing serious…He’s a great guy he’s a real warrior he’s fought back from some injuries surgeries to such a great level.” Shapovalov said of his compatriot.

Shapovalov will face 19th seed Aslan Karatsev in the next round after the Russian thrashed Salvatore Caruso 6-2, 6-0.

In the other results of the day sixth seeed Casper Ruud dominated Roberto Carballes Baena 6-1, 6-2, Roberto Bautista Agut beat the Argentine Guido Pella 7-5, 6-3 and Sebastien Korda won an all American battle with Frances Tiafoe 6-0, 6-4.

Finally, Diego Schwartzman needed three sets to beat another American in Maxime Cressy winning 6-2, 3-6, 7-5.

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