Boris Becker makes harsh comment about Holger Rune after Novak Djokovic wins
Boris Becker has insisted that Novak Djokovic is in a totally different league to Holger Rune after the latter was beaten by the Serb at the ATP Finals. Rune, who recently appointed Becker as his new coach, put up a strong fight but ultimately went down in three sets at the hands of Djokovic in spite of his best efforts.
Djokovic edged the opening set via a tiebreak before Rune levelled up in the second with a fine display of tennis, with the Dane forcing another tiebreak that went his way. He left Djokovic frustrated in the decisive third set as the Serb smashed two of his rackets after being broken in the second game, only for the 36-year-old to come back fighting on his way to a narrow victory.
The result means that Djokovic will end the year at the summit of the ATP rankings for the eighth time in his career despite being made to work hard against Rune, who held his own for large parts of the contest. Becker, however, still believes that Djokovic is in a league of his own at the top of the pecking order in spite of Rune’s encouraging performance.
“Rune and Djokovic are like night and day,” said Becker, according to Ubitennis. “The biggest challenge is getting closer to Novak.”
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Djokovic also managed to beat Rune in the quarter-finals of Paris Masters earlier this month but was given a scare when he lost the second set before coming up trumps in the third. Rune later credited Becker’s influence as one of the main reasons behind his strong campaign in the French capital despite losing to the sport’s top-ranked player.
“It’s never easy to reverse a negative spiral like the one I went through and he helped me do it,” said Rune when quizzed on how Becker has helped him over the last few weeks. “I’ve come back from almost nowhere, from a period where I was losing all the time in the first round to a big match like this against Novak, close to my best level.
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“Two months ago, I would certainly have lost this match in two sets. It just goes to show how far I’ve come. It was a similar battle to last year, except that I was a little too passive this time. I could have done a few things differently, I lacked a bit of courage at times. Maybe it was also him who made me more passive.”
In other news, Jannik Sinner delighted the crowd in Turin by defeating Stefanos Tsitsipas in the opening singles match at the ATP Finals on Sunday. The Italian hopeful, who will face Djokovic next, is among the favourites to lift the trophy in front of his own fans but will need to produce his very best tennis in order to do so.
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