Teenager Holger Rune shocks Novak Djokovic to claim Paris Masters title
Teenager Holger Rune stunned Novak Djokovic in the final of the Paris Masters on Sunday, winning 3-6 6-3 7-5 against the 21-time grand slam champion.
The 19-year-old Rune, playing in his first Masters 1000 final, lost the first set and came from a break down in the second to level the match.
He then had to hold his nerve in the decider, breaking for a 6-5 lead before saving six breaks points to take the biggest title of his career.
The victory makes Rune the youngest champion in Paris since Boris Becker in 1986 and sees him enter the top 10 of the world rankings for the first time.
“I want to start by saying huge congrats to Novak also,” he said to Djokovic, who is 16 years his senior, in his post-match interview.
“You’re one of my favourite players, I’ve been watching you since I was a little kid, practicing with you. It’s a pleasure to be able to share the court with you now.”
Hot on the heels of 19-year-old Carlos Alcaraz’s maiden grand slam title at the US Open in September, Rune now looks set to join the Spaniard as another of the game’s rising stars.
Djokovic had said ahead of Sunday’s final how Rune “reminds me of myself,” and in the final the Dane duly had to channel the mental toughness and never-say-die attitude that has characterized much of Djokovic’s career.
The victory capped off a superb week for Rune, having defeated five top-10 players over the course of the tournament, while also saving match points against Stan Wawrinka in the first round.
When he won an epic, 16-minute game to complete the victory against Djokovic, Rune lay on the floor and covered his hands over his face in disbelief.
“If you told me four weeks ago, I would be in the top 10 … I would be like: ‘What, sorry?'” he said. “Now I’m here and I’m super proud.”
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