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An 18-year-old who trained with Novak Djokovic after reaching out to him on Instagram is set to face the world No. 1 in his first major




a person holding a sign: Holger Vitus Nodskov Rune in 2019. Jean-Francois Badias/AP Images


© Jean-Francois Badias/AP Images
Holger Vitus Nodskov Rune in 2019. Jean-Francois Badias/AP Images

  • Holger Vitus Nodskov Rune will face Novak Djokovic in the opening round of the US Open.
  • Rune trained with Djokovic in March after reaching out to him on Instagram.
  • Rune came away impressed by the world No. 1 but said he is aiming to beat Djokovic in the US Open.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Denmark’s Holger Vitus Nodskov Rune is as prepared to face Novak Djokovic as any teenager can be.

The 18-year-old has drawn Djokovic in the first round of the US Open and the two are set to play Tuesday night. It’s Rune’s first major and his first time playing Djokovic in a tournament.

However, Rune is familiar with the world No. 1, perhaps more than other players in his position. According to Andrew Eichenholz of The ATP, Rune was looking to train on a clay court in March. He saw that Djokovic was not playing in the Miami Open, so he reached out on Instagram and the two arranged two practice sessions in Monte Carlo.

Rune posted videos of the sessions on Instagram, which show him and Djokovic volleying and competing in serving competitions.

A post shared by Holger Vitus Nødskov Rune (@holgerrune)

A post shared by Holger Vitus Nødskov Rune (@holgerrune)

“He was so kind and we got the practice organized and had two very good practices with each other at a very good level,” Rune told Eichenholz. “It was great. He’s a great guy.”

Rune added that he was impressed with Djokovic’s precision and ball-hitting.

“I think his consistency is incredible, how he just keeps hitting the ball in the same spot in a varied level of pace. That was probably the most impressive thing,” Rune said.

Djokovic won the Australian Open, French Open, and Wimbledon this year, so is aiming for the first Grand Slam in men’s tennis since Rod Laver won all four majors in 1969. Although Djokovic flamed out of the Tokyo Olympics, he has said he’s excited to play in the US Open and noted that he has historically played well in New York.

Still, Rune told Eichenholz that he plans to beat Djokovic.

“I have a lot of belief in myself even though I’m up against the World No. 1,” Rune said. “A lot of players would just say go out there, have fun, get the experience and enjoy the moment. Of course I’m going to do that as well, but my goal is not just to play here. My goal is to win this tournament, even many times.”

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