Eurosport tennis expert Mats Wilander thinks Holger Rune predicting he will be No 1 next year "might generate disappointment" but added he is okay with it if that's the 19-year-old's way of motivating himself to reach the new heights.
Rune enjoyed a great end to the season, winning his first Masters title in Paris and breaking into the top-10 for the first time in his career. Also, Rune made the final in each of his last four tournaments played in 2022 - he won two titles and twice ended as runner-up.
Rune, who has since dropped from No 10 to No 11 in the world, is now aiming for even bigger things in 2023 as he wants to win his maiden Grand Slam and also reach the top spot.
Wilander in Rune tipping himself to be No 1 in 2023
"Rune said he's going to be No.
1 in the world and this might generate disappointment, if it does not happen right away. Imagine if Casper [Ruud] would have gone out and said that last year. Then had this year where he made three finals. People would say 'whoa, yeah, he can never, ever win a big tournament.
There's no chance, he's lost three finals in one year' So my first reaction would be to say it's wrong and it's dangerous [to say you will be No. 1], but if it motivates you as a player, then go ahead, and if it's that simple to you as a player.
When I hear Carlos Alcaraz talk about tennis and the way I see him play, it is that simple, he's just happy playing tennis, and he says 'I want to be No. 1 in the world. No strings attached, no nothing. It's no mind games and nothing.
It's just what I feel,'" Wilander told Eurosport. After many years of wait, the game finally has very young stars that are winning Grand Slam and Masters events. Wilander is happy for the game as he believes Rune is great for tennis.
"So for them to fight through that and break through the glass ceiling, it takes a mind, which is what they're telling you - 'I want to be number one in the world' Okay, I believe you. So, yeah, it's all good to me. He [Rune] is a great player and he's going to be great for the game," Wilander added.