Holger Rune recalls childhood Alcaraz encounter as ‘new Big Three’ addressed

Holger Rune has recalled his hilarious first encounter with Carlos Alcaraz at an under-11s event. The pair have since become two of the biggest young talents in tennis, and together with Jannik Sinner have been branded the “new Big Three”. But Rune himself didn’t want to rush any comparisons to the greats.

Rune and Alcaraz cemented themselves as two of the most promising young stars on the ATP Tour last year, with the Dane defeating five top 10 players to win the Paris Masters. Meanwhile, Alcaraz became the youngest world No 1 in ATP history after winning the US Open.

Together, the pair proved that they were something special as they became the first two teenagers to be inside the world’s top 10 at the same time since Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic in 2007. Now both aged 20, Rune and Alcaraz have found themselves compared to the ‘Big Three’ with world No 8 Sinner also included in the impressive group.

Rune has now addressed the claims, while also opening up on his childhood meeting with Alcaraz when the pair contested the doubles together at Les Petits As – a prestigious junior tennis tournament. “I have good memories,” the world No 7 told La Nacion, revealing that they couldn’t speak to one another at first because of the language barrier.

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“We played doubles together at Les Petits As. And it was funny because he didn’t speak any English. We had to sign in the doubles match, we didn’t talk much, but we understood each other very well.”

Rune also remembered playing with the world No 2 on a different occasion and said they kept their friendship up as professionals on the ATP Tour. He continued: “We also played in an Under 12 and since then we have had incredible games.

“It’s great to have these memories from when we played as kids now that we’re on tour, playing the same big tournaments. Now, obviously, he speaks much better English, we had a good time talking in the locker room. Carlos is very passionate and competitive on the pitch, just like me.”

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As for the Big Three comparisons, Rune said that time would tell whether he, Alcaraz and Sinner could come close to the history written by Federer, Nadal and Djokovic. “I think it’s hard to say now because what Roger, Rafa and Novak have shown no one else did and that’s why they are the best of all time,” he explained.

“I think it’s too early to say, because they have won more than 60 Grand Slams. And we are not in that place, we have to follow our path and believe in what we do. I’m sure we can have a great race. But, we’ll see, time will show us.”

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