Patrick McEnroe acknowledged that Holger Rune is a rising star in the game but he doubts that the 19-year-old is ready to beat Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open. Rune, 19, stunningly beat five top-10 players en route to winning his first Masters title in Paris last week.
In the Paris final, Rune stunned Djokovic 3-6 6-3 7-5. If Rune wants to be able to beat Djokovic at a Grand Slam, McEnroe feels the Dane will have to improve his fitness and stamina because the 19-year-old looked absolutely gassed toward the end of the Paris final.
McEnroe on why Rune is not ready to beat Djokovic in Australia
"This guy (Holger Rune) is a phenomenal athlete, amazing legs, incredible shot selection, just overall an electric player to watch But I don't see him beating Djokovic in best-of-5 in Australia.
Of course, he can do some work in the next few months, which I expect he'll do. But the point is, if the Australian Open started next week, to me Djokovic is the solid favorite. It's been proven over the last few years, especially that it's a lot harder to beat Rafa and Novak in best-of-5 if they're healthy and ready to go.
We've seen them get picked off in these events and more so in the last 3-5 years, by the Tsitsipas' and Zverevs. But to do it in best-of-5? That's why for Rune, he's going to have to put in a little bit more work physically.
Particularly late in the match, it was clear to me that Rune was running on fumes. It was amazing that he was able to get over the finish line, particularly in that last game at 6-5 in the third," McEnroe said on the Holding Court with Patrick McEnroe podcast, per Sportskeeda.
Djokovic, 35, is hoping to get his Australia visa ban rescinded in the upcoming weeks so he is allowed to return to the Australian Open in 2023. At the Australian Open, Djokovic is a record nine-time champion.