Rising Danish star Holger Rune upset Denis Shapovalov in the French Open first round and afterward spoke about the importance of getting a chance to play Novak Djokovic at a Grand Slam level. Last year at the US Open, Rune won three qualifying matches to earn a main draw place at Flushing Meadows.
In his first-ever Grand Slam match, Rune took on world No. 1 Djokovic. Rune competed extremely well against Djokovic as the 20-time Grand Slam champion needed four sets to overcome the Dane. This Tuesday, Rune clinched his first Grand Slam victory after upsetting 14th-seeded Shapovalov 6-3 6-1 7-6 (4).
“Obviously [playing Novak] was a huge experience for me, so I wouldn't have replaced that match for any other at that time,” Rune said, per the ATP Tour website. “But it's nice, you know, not to play the best guys in the first round.
I would rather wait a little bit. “Of course, you can't say that Denis is an easy draw. He's such a great player. Especially in the Grand Slams, he shows his best tennis. “I really just tried, as I said, to focus on each point and to keep focusing on myself and not to do so much else”.
Rune: Shapovalov is never an easy opponent
Rune overcame Shapovalov in straight sets in their first-ever meeting but after the match insisted the Canadian is always a tricky and tough opponent. “It was definitely a tough match,” said Rune.
“Denis can play some unbelievable tennis. For me, it was just trying to focus on what I could do on the court, try to keep holding my serve, try to take every chance I had. I did that pretty good. “Of course, I maybe could have closed the third set easier than I did.
I had a lot of chances, but I'm just happy that I stayed focused and finished the match in three sets”. Rune now has a good chance to continue his French Open run as he plays next Henri Laaksonen.