The Paris Masters final saw a thrilling contest between a six-time champion Novak Djokovic and the young gun Holger Rune. The 19-year-old Dane endured all the obstacles and scored a notable 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 win in two hours and 33 minutes, winning his first Major 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, staying calm in the decisive moments to become the fourth-youngest Masters 1000 winner. Speaking about 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 out of 12 break points, including six in the encounter’s last game while serving for the title. Also, Novak led 3-1, 40-30 in the decider, but it was not enough to carry him over the top. Holger landed 43 winners and 33 unforced errors and outplayed Novak in the baseline exchanges to write history books. Djokovic served well in the opener, dropping five points in five service games and delivering a break in game four after the rival’s double faults. Novak wrapped up the set in game nine and created break chances at the start of the second set. Rune fended them off and scored his first break in game two for an early advantage. The young gun served well in the rest of the set and closed it 6-3 to introduce a decider after 80 minutes.
Novak Djokovic praised Holger Rune after losing to him at the Paris Masters.
Novak started all over and broke Holger in game four. The Serb served in the next one and squandered a game point that could have pushed him 4-1 ahead. Instead, Rune broke back with a forehand crosscourt winner and leveled the score at 3-3 in the next one. The youngster held after deuces in game eight for 4-4 and created a break chance in game 11 after Djokovic’s loose backhand. Novak placed a forehand wide to lose serve and fall 6-5 behind. The 12th game saw a real roller coaster, and Djokovic created six break points in the last push to extend the battle. After challenging 17 minutes, Rune saved them with brave hitting and seized the second match point to celebrate his first Masters 1000 crown.
“What impresses me the most about Holger is his fighting spirit. He stayed composed mentally until the last shot. Showing this composure and maturity in a big match like this at his age is very impressive. Holger defeated five top-10 players, and this is a week of his life. I had my chances in every set, but he came as a deserved winner. I did not use a 40-0 lead at the start of the second set, and those were the moments where the match went one way or another. I would have had a nice chance of beating him had I grabbed a break, but he managed to turn it around. The crowd got on his side and lifted him up. Holger was brave and went for his shots. I was not active enough with my feet, with uncharacteristic mistakes in the crucial moments,” Novak Djokovic said.