Holger Rune could be the next first-time Grand Slam winner

Holger Rune sticks to his gameplan to down Stefanos Tsitsipas Credit: Alamy
Holger Rune sticks to his gameplan to down Stefanos Tsitsipas Credit: Alamy

Holger Rune is one of the players making a strong case for being the next man to win a Grand Slam for the first time.

His run to the semi-finals in Acapulco ensured that Rune rose to a new career-high eighth in the ATP Rankings on Monday 6 March.

Injury and inconsistency seem to have sapped some of the momentum he gained with his maiden ATP Masters win in Paris at the end of last season.

In Paris, Rune wowed fans and pundits alike as he toppled none other than Novak Djokovic in the final.

The performance he laid on during the final in Paris, is one of the biggest pointers towards the Dane being the next man to join the ranks of Grand Slam winners.

He remained composed as Djokovic threatened a fightback that day and held off the most challenging player to put away in ATP Tour history.

In achieving that win he appears to have shown that he is getting closer to winning a Grand Slam as he was able to down one of the GOATs, something other young(er) players have struggled to do.

While Casper Ruud and Stefanos Tsitsipas have reached a pair of Grand Slam finals each, neither man actually looked like they could win those matches.

Tsitsipas has twice been thwarted by Novak Djokovic while in 2022 Ruud lost to Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros and Carlos Alcaraz at the US Open.

As for Rune in 2022, the teenager claimed three titles in an effort that would surely have made him breakout player of the year were it not for the ridiculous feats of Carlos Alcaraz.

The achievements of the big three have altered perceptions on exactly how hard it is for a player to win a Grand Slam while the presence of Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic make it that much more difficult for anyone else.

There are a further three players who have contested a men’s singles Grand Slam who remain active on the tour, and none of them can be written off when it comes to possible successes in the very near future.

The 2021 Wimbledon runner-up Matteo Berrettini faces accusations that he doesn’t take his game seriously enough but he is still a force on grass and might be a contender for the Wimbledon crown this year.

Alexander Zverev has shown promising signs that he might recover his best form and start mounting a serious challenge in the Majors.

Nick Kyrgios is another who has attracted backing as a potential winner of a Slam either at the hard court events in Australia and the US or at Wimbledon. He has both the talent and the mental strength but physical resilience might prove to be the factor that denies him glory.

Rune has had his issues with flare-ups of temper, but in tennis, that isn’t the worst thing in the world.

His mental approach to the game is improving, and he is a remarkable athlete capable of playing at a high level on any surface.

It would not be terribly surprising if Holger Rune becomes the next first-time winner of Grand Slam.

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