The Paris Masters final saw a thrilling contest between six-time champion Novak Djokovic and youngster Holger Rune. The 19-year-old Dane withstood all the odds and scored a remarkable 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 victory in two hours and 33 minutes, winning his first Grand Slam title and cracking the top 10.
Djokovic and Rune have known each other for a couple of years, training together in Monte Carlo and knowing each other’s game well. Holger used that to overpower the legend and lift the trophy in Paris, keeping his cool in the decisive moments to become the fourth-youngest Masters 1000 winner.
Speaking of Holger, Novak said he was impressed by the youngster’s mental strength in the final, playing bold and aggressive tennis to deserve the title. Rune defended ten of 12 break points, including six in the final game of the encounter while serving for the title.
Also, Novak led 3-1, 40-30 in the decider, but it was not enough to take him over the top. Holger hit 43 game winners and 33 unforced errors and outplayed Novak in baseline rallies to write history books. Djokovic served well in the opener, dropping five points in five service games and delivering a break in the fourth game after double faults from the opponent.
Novak closed out the set in game nine and created break chances early in the second set. Rune fended them off and scored his first break in game two to gain an early lead. The young gun served well for the rest of the set and closed it out 6-3 to enter a decider after 80 minutes.
Novak Djokovic praised Holger Rune after losing to him at the Paris Masters.
Novak started again and broke Holger in game four. The Serbian served in the next one and wasted a game point that could have put him ahead 4-1.
Instead, Rune broke with a forehand crosscourt winner and leveled the score at 3-3 in the next. The youngster held after two deuces in game eight for 4-4 and created a break chance in game 11 after Djokovic’s loose backhand.
Novak hit a forehand wide to lose serve and fall behind 6-5. Game 12 was a real rollercoaster ride, with Djokovic creating six break points on the last push to extend the battle. After a challenging 17 minutes, Rune saved them with a brave strike and seized second match point to celebrate his first Masters 1000 crown.
«What impresses me most about Holger is his fighting spirit. He kept his cool until the last shot. Showing this composure and maturity in a big match like this at his age is very impressive. Holger beat five top-10 players, and this is a week of your life.
I had my chances in every set, but he came in as a deserved winner. I didn’t use a 40-0 lead at the start of the second set, and those were the moments where the match went one way or the other. He would have had a good chance of beating him if he had taken a break, but he managed to turn it around.
The crowd sided with him and lifted him up. Holger was brave and went for the shots from him. I wasn’t active enough with my feet, I made unusual mistakes in the crucial moments,» Novak Djokovic said.