At the US Open, Novak Djokovic discussed his locker room conversation with the “emotional” Holger Rune.
Following their first-round match at the US Open, Novak Djokovic revealed a “secret” conversation he had with his opponent.
Following his first-round victory at the US Open, Novak Djokovic spoke openly about a private conversation he had with opponent Holger Rune. The world No. 1 is aiming to win a record 21st Major and the Calendar Grand Slam in New York, and he started his campaign with a four-set triumph against a qualifier on Tuesday.
In their first-round match at the US Open, Djokovic was pressed by Rune, who needed four sets to beat the qualifier.
He was unexpectedly overpowered by the 18-year-old after blazing to a 6-1 lead and securing a break in the second set. The 18-year-old broke back and forced a tie-break, which he won 7-5.
The Dane’s tremendous efforts, however, appeared to cost him physically in the third and fourth sets, as he was obviously cramping, as the top seed won 6-1 6-7(5) 6-2 6-1 to begin his bid for history.
After the match, Djokovic chatted with a “emotional” Rune in the locker room, after the teenager lost his first Grand Slam main draw match.
The top seed said it was difficult to see the 18-year-disappointment old’s after the loss, and he recalled times when he felt the same way.
Djokovic stated, “We just had a small conversation in the locker room.”
“For him, it’s a really emotional time. That isn’t easy to see. He’s in a bad mood. That is something I am aware of. That’s something I’ve been through.”
Despite cramming so severely that he appeared unable to move during several moments, the 20-time Grand Slam champion commended Rune for continuing the match.
“I just told him that he handled himself really well,” he continued. He was adamant about not stopping. I was expecting him to cease at the end of the third. He just kept going, finishing the match with honor.
“He deserved my respect, as well as the esteem of many others. He’s only 18, therefore he’s still extremely young. He has a lot of time on his hands. I’m sure we’ll see a lot more of him in the future.
“It’s never great to finish a match like that,” says the player. Holger deserves a standing ovation. It is regrettable.”
The Serb also conceded that the first-round match was not a success. “Brinkwire News in Condensed Form.”