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READ: What Novak Djokovic told Holger Rune in the locker room after their match at the 2021 US Open

World No.1 and 20-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic offered some warm words for Grand Slam main draw debutant Holger Rune after their opening round match at the 2021 US Open.

Holger Rune and Novak Djokovic

World No.1 Novak Djokovic has already started his quest for the Calendar Slam on a positive note. The top seed entered the Arthur Ashe stadium and finished his opening round formalities to progress ahead in the competition.

Djokovic beat Holger Rune, who was making his main draw, Grand Slam debut. Although the Dane managed to put up a courageous fight by taking the second set in a tie break, his momentum was snatched away due to cramps. Rune also found enormous support from the crowd.

In the end, Rune ran out of steam and was comfortably beaten by the best player on the planet. Later after the match, the 20-time Grand Slam champion did offer some warm words for 18-year-old.

“We just had a little chat in the locker room. It’s an emotional moment for him. It’s not easy to see that. He’s really sad. I understand that. I’ve been through that. I just told him that he handles himself extremely well. He didn’t want to stop,” Djokovic told the media.

‘Novak is very tough to play’: Rune

Holger Rune

Rune too explained his experiencing of playing on the big stage during the press conference. Upon asked to comment on the challenge of facing Djokovic, the Dane explained, “I think he’s incredibly consistent. He never gives you anything. You really have to win every point by yourself. Especially behind your serve, you have really to put almost every first serve because otherwise he’s stepping in on the baseline and really putting you under pressure. You really want to hold your serve, because if he hits his spot, it’s tough to break him. He’s just a tough player to play.”

Meanwhile, the Serbian superstar is on the cusp of creating history at the 2021 US Open. If the Serb can win the title in New York, then he will become only the second player in the Open Era, after Rod Laver to win the Calendar Slam. Djokovic will play Tallon Griekspoor in the second round.

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