US Open debutant Holger Rune made a good show of his first round defeat to veteran Djokovic but it was the bag he took to the court that stole the show.
Rune caught the eye of the tennis community with a spirited display during his first round defeat to Novak Djokovic at the US Open, but it was an accessory he took to the court with him that created even more of a stir on social media.
Instead of the usual branded sports bags players often carry, the young Dane’s container of choice was a standard blue IKEA shopping bag.
The 18-year-old impressed on his Grand Slam debut, taking the world number one Djokovic to four sets at the Arthur Ashe Stadium, but ultimately suffering cramp due to the sheer intensity of the game.
But all that was after he sent Twitter into overdrive by strolling into tennis’ largest arena with a fresh face and an IKEA bag full of his equipment.
“If Rune doesn’t get an IKEA sponsorship after this we ride at dawn,” joked one user.
Another said: “Holger Rune walking on court with an IKEA shopping bag is the most New York thing to ever happen at the US Open.”
Even former women’s number one Kim Clijsters posted an admiring tweet about Rune “rocking the IKEA bag on centre court”.
The Dane himself said after the game: “I think it’s a nice bag. I can have all my drinks there and bananas. It just suits me well to go on court.”
After Djokovic raced to a one set lead with a 6-1 win in the first, Rune responded by winning the first three games of the second and recovering well from being pegged back to clinch the tie-break and level the match.
His exertions proved too much and he was beaten soundly as he cramped up over the course of the rest of the tie, but he certainly did enough to impress his vastly experienced opponent.