For anyone following the Danish teen Holger Rune, it should come as no surprise that the 16-year-old is not only very talented but also ambitious. However, in a recent interview, Rune's mother and manager Aneke Rune reveals an interesting anecdote about just how much the 16-year-old hates losing.
Speaking to BT, Rune's mother recounts that as a six-year-old, Holger was driven to be better than his four-year-old sister, Alma, and practiced swinging with rackets without a ball in their living room. His room had posters of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal which were ripped off the wall one day when he lost a final in foam tennis with the young Holger saying, "I will never be number two.
Two are shit." He has always been a perfectionist, and I sometimes have to say "relax," because there is always someone that can be better." In the same interview, Rune, who will play his first ATP Challenger this week in Noumea, says he has set out goals which he wants people to know so that he can be held accountable for the same.
"If you dare not say things out loud, you cannot go after big goals either. Then you can just say it was not your goal if you fail. The pressure makes me want to get it more." Rune, currently ranked no. 1019 in the world, aims to be ranked in the Top 400 by the end of June this year, in the Top 100 by May 2021 and the Top 20 by May 2022.
"Personally, I don't think it should take six months. I also plan to be in the Top 100 in May 2021, but when Alexander Zverev saw me play in London, he said I can reach the top 100 already by the end of 2020. It gave me confidence, so I'll try to reach that."
Rune says he always likes to achieve things sooner than others expect him to. Like when people told him that in 2019, he would have to play grand slam tournaments for the experience and go after winning one in 2020, he responded by saying "Why can't I win one this year?" and went on to win the second Grand Slam he contested as a junior.
"When I set goals, I always reach them and usually before expected. I feel I'm more dedicated. I only see a few juniors who are just as targeted. Many people do it half because they have other things too."