Djokovic warned tennis rivals are ‘trying to get rid of him’ to create new cult

Djokovic celebrates after ending year as world no.1

Novak Djokovic has been warned by Holger Rune that his younger rivals are “trying to get rid of him” to help breathe new life into the sport. Rune believes he, Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner can forge an exciting rivalry like Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray and Roger Federer did before them.

The talented trio are among the most exciting up-and-coming players in tennis right now and have been tipped to do big things in years to come. Alcaraz is already rivalling Djokovic for the World No 1 spot and managed to beat the Serbian superstar in this year’s Wimbledon final.

The Spaniard also defeated Djokovic in their first-ever encounter at the ATP Masters 1000 Madrid last year. Yet their head-to-head record stands at 3-2 in favour of the 24-time Grand Slam champion, who won their last two matches at the ATP Masters 1000 Cincinnati in August and the Nitto ATP Finals last month.

Rune has the same record as Alcaraz against Djokovic but has never beaten him at a Grand Slam while Sinner is 4-2 down to the World No 1. However, the Italian starlet is the only one to have beaten Djokovic the last time they met – a stunning comeback win at the Davis Cup Finals last week.

None of them are fairing too badly against Djokovic, especially considering their age, but Rune insists they will have to win more matches against him to turn the tides at the top. 

“It’s really great to have this rivalry with us three players as we had the generation Roger, Rafa, Novak, Murray and yeah for the sport to grow, it’s really amazing to have this group of guys that can dominate the tour,” said Rune during a recent appearance on the ‘Advantage Connors’ podcast with Jimmy Connors. “I am not saying we are dominating the tour already, Novak is still there, we need to try to get him out of here.” 

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“I think it’s really cool to be a part of this group because you know, all of us have been doing very very well, you know, Sinner had a phenomenal season, Alcaraz also with the Wimbledon title,” Rune added.

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