Holger Rune will long remember his week in Paris. At 19, the protege of coach Patrick Mouratoglou delivered an exceptional performance to beat Novak Djokovic on Sunday November 6, in the final of the Masters 1000 at Bercy (3-6, 6-3, 7-5), thus signing his first success in a tennis tournament of this magnitude. Still out of the top hundred in the world at the start of the season, Rune finished it as a cannonball and broke into the Top 10 (10e).
Given his performance on Sunday, it’s hard to think that the Scandinavian will stop there. Revealed this year when he reached the quarter-finals of Roland-Garros, beating in passing the Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas, it was in eastern Paris that he confirmed his immense potential over the course of a week during which he will have beaten five of the ten best players in the world (Hubert Hurkacz, Andrey Rublev, Carlos Alcaraz, Félix Auger-Aliassime and, therefore, Novak Djokovic). And to think that he could have watched this final on his sofa after saving three match points in his first round against Stanislas Wawrinka (4-6, 7-5, 7-6)…
💥 Sensational Holger Rune! The 19-year-old Dane overthrows Novak Djokovic (3-6, 6-3, 7-5) and wins the… https://t.co/0yKGHo4BIn
After having chained the summits this week, it was Everest embodied by Novak Djokovic who nevertheless stood in front of the young Dane on Sunday. Already six times titled at Bercy, the Serb had also announced on Eurosport, after his entry into the running against Maxime Cressy, his desire to make life difficult for the new generation, of which Holger Rune (19) is one of the best. representatives.
” I’ll make sure to kick their asses for as long as possible. They will kick my ass once in a while but hopefully less often than I would kick theirs,” Novak Djokovic had fun. And the Serb kept his word during a final that he did not give to his opponent, far from it.
Djokovic had the best start
Facing Rune, sixteen years his junior, Djokovic started the match with the firm intention of giving his opponent no chance. After a break in the third game, the Serb rolled on his serve to quietly pocket the first set (6-3) against a combative although timorous Holger Rune. But certainly worn out by his fight the day before against Stefanos Tsitsipas (won 6-2, 3-6, 7-6), Djokovic struggled to continue, forced to stretch regularly and call on the physiotherapist during a change of side at the end of the match.
On the ropes, Holger Rune could have completely sunk when he was down 0-40 on his serve in the first game of the second set. Pushed by a Parisian public completely committed to his cause, the Scandinavian saved the balls before completely freeing himself. Result, it was he who broke first with flat strikes and cushioning to return to a set everywhere (3-6, 6-3). That’s when the final, so far at a good level, turned into a real fight.
More accustomed than his rival to this kind of situation, Novak Djokovic used his experience to take the service of the young impudent (3-1). But tense as rarely, the Serbian missed an unusual number of chances until losing his serve twice, allowing Rune to serve at 6-5 to win the game. To say that concluding was not easy is an understatement: during a game of more than sixteen minutes, the Dane saved five break points, wasted his first match point with a big double fault, before being able to finally collapsing to the ground after a final pass at Djokovic’s feet.
“It’s an incredible moment, I have so much respect for Novak. I can’t imagine, the last game was amazing, there was so much emotion. This is the greatest moment of my career as a tennis player.” reacted, moved, Holger Rune, a few minutes after the meeting. After the conquest of the world number one throne by Carlos Alcaraz (19), and the retirement of Roger Federer in mid-September, this 2022 season proves that tennis is moving into a new era. In which Holger Rune has every chance of finding a place of choice.