WATCH: Rune played one of the best matches of the 2022 season to shock Novak Djokovic in the Rolex Paris Masters final.

The so-called "Netflix Curse" has been unforgiving to most players involved in the Netflix docuseries’ highly-anticipated first season: of the 10 players featured in its first five episodes, only Félix Auger-Aliassime made it to the second week as injuries and inconsistencies felled the rest in spectacular fashion.

But as cameras abound in Melbourne for a potential second season, the curse nearly landed a preeminent strike on No. 9 seed Holger Rune, who enthusiastically announced his tentative participation.

“They are filming a little bit,” Rune said after his first-round win over Filip Krajinovic. “I think the plan is to do some filming for my next match as well.”

It’s a natural casting decision for anyone with a passing knowledge of where the men’s game is going, especially in the absence of Rune’s fellow teen phenom, Carlos Alcaraz, who was forced to miss the Australian Open due to injury. Even without the Next Big Thing™ bona fides, Rune has proven capable of delivering reality TV gold—even when opponents like Casper Ruud or Stan Wawrinka haven’t always approved.

“I'm excited to do it. I think it's going to be great. It's good for tennis. It's good for us players. And I think more fans we can get into the sport, it's better. I'm just very positive about it.”

What, then, must the terminally online teen had been thinking when he took a scary fall just minutes into the second set of his third-round against the Ugo Humbert?

“I'm feeling better than I expected,” Rune later said on court. “I was a bit worried about because my ankle is good but my wrist was hurting a bit. The doctor checked me and said I was fine and had nothing to worry about. Of course, it was painful but I tried to focus on something else. I’m playing on such an amazing stage in the third round of a Grand Slam, so I didn’t think about it and just kept going.”


A long medical timeout ensued as physios raced to address the 19-year-old’s injured wrist and ankle, but Rune showed remarkable durability on resumption. After racing through the second set, he ultimately overcame the big-serving Frenchman, 6-4, 6-2, 7-6 (5) in two hours and nine minutes.

Rune came into 2023 riding high from a late-season surge that took saw him earn a historic Masters 1000 victory in Paris-Bercy, knocking out five Top 10 players—including Novak Djokovic in a thrilling three-set final.

“Obviously Paris gave me a lot of confidence, knowing that I could beat these top guys at one of the best tournaments we have in the world,” he said, having started 2022 ranked outside the Top 100 and ended it with a career-high of No. 10.

“I feel good. I feel like I have a lot of confidence. First, I have to think one match at a time. Everybody is playing good, and everybody wants to win, because it is one of the four biggest tournaments in the world.

“It's a big event, and it puts pressure on everybody, and it's just to see who is handling it the best.”

While his first-season castmates have largely struggled with that pressure, Rune has carried that Paris momentum into the best-of-five format with relative ease, winning his first two rounds in straight sets and outfoxing dangerous floater Maxime Cressy to put himself a win away from the second week.

Taking on Humbert, whom he beat twice in 2022, Rune shook off a love break at 5-2 in the opening set to serve it out on his second opportunity on John Cain Arena. Things indeed looked dire early in the second when he took his tumble, but Humbert couldn’t capitalize, throwing in a double fault on break point to hand initiative back to the Dane.

A tense third set followed as both men traded holds to an inevitable tiebreak. Twice roaring back from mini-break deficits, Rune got to match point with a forehand putaway and drew one last error from Humbert to end a binge-worthy contest that had drama, suspense, and a little bit of razzle-dazzle—tallying a near-even 26 winners and 28 unforced errors over three sets.

“It was extremely tough, especially after the fall, but maybe it was better than expected because I relaxed a lot!” he said. “But in the third set, Ugo was playing super aggressive and serving unbelievably, all on the lines. The tiebreak was small margins, and I’m glad I was brave to win the match in three sets. It feels good.”

Looking to build on his quarterfinal finish at last year's Roland Garros, might Rune break the Netflix curse before his episode airs? First he'll have to face No. 5 seed Andrey Rublev in a rematch of their Paris-Bercy encounter.

"It's a lot of business, but I have to be honest, I take a chocolate brownie once in a while!" he joked as the crowd let out the now infamous "Ruuune" cheers. "I try to stay healthy, do as much recovery as I can and celebrate the match I won today but mostly focus on the next match because every match is super tough and you have to be focused."