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Opposed to the Serbian Novak Djokovic in the final of the Paris-Bercy tournament, the Dane Holger Rune won the first Masters 1000 of his career after a fight of more than 2:30 (3-6, 6-3, 7-5).
The Dane Holger Rune, 18th in the world, offered himself, Sunday, November 6 in Paris, his first Masters 1000, at 19, beating defending champion Novak Djokovic 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 in the final.
“You are one of my favorite players, I’ve been watching you since I was a kid. It’s going to be my favorite tournament now,” Rune told Djokovic after the game.
On Monday, he will be the first Dane to join the world Top 10 (10th) since the creation of the ATP in 1973 and will thus be the first substitute at the end-of-year Master in Turin (November 13-20).
Rune was playing his fourth final in as many tournaments: he had lost in Sofia, won in Stockholm and lost again in Basel.
“You completely deserve this victory”
After winning the first tournament of his career in Munich in May, he won his third and finest title in Paris, both in terms of the prestige of the tournament and that of the opponents eliminated: after saving three match points in the first round against Stan Wawrinka , he beat five members of the World Top 10: Hubert Hurkacz (10th), Andrey Rublev (9th), Carlos Alcaraz (N.1, retirement), Félix Auger-Aliassime (8th) and Djokovic (7th).
“You completely deserve this victory, Djokovic told him. What an extraordinary week, I’m not happy that you beat me, but I’m happy for you”.
Rune becomes the first player since the creation of the ATP to beat five Top 10 players in the same tournament (excluding the year-end Masters).
He also becomes the youngest winner in Paris since Boris Becker who was 18 when he won the first edition of the tournament in 1986.
Djokovic, imperial on his face-off (no break point to defend), won the first round and raised fears of a one-way final.
But he was unable to materialize any of the three consecutive break points he got at the start of the second set and the meeting then tipped in favor of Rune who was playing his first Masters 1000 final.
The Dane indeed held his face-off and took his opponent’s in stride by taking advantage of his very first break point of the game. He kept his advantage until the end and pushed the match into a deciding set.
Djokovic seemed to do the hardest part by scoring the break there to lead 3-1. But he was unable to confirm on his own faceoff and let his opponent take his serve back and equalize at 3-3.
The two players thus arrived at 5-5 when Rune redid the break to lead 6-5 and serve to win the match.
Feverish, tired, he had to save six break points and won on his second match point after receiving a half-volley from Djokovic who did not cross the net.