The years go by, and the observation often remains the same: Novak Djokovic is an unsinkable giant. His index finger on the temple after the match point attests to the mental strength of the world number 7, winner of Stefanos Tsitsipas in the semi-final, Saturday November 5, of the Paris-Bercy Masters 1000.
The Serb overcame (6-2, 3-6, 7-6) the Greek, 5e World Cup, after a fight lasting nearly two and a half hours, in a scenario similar to that of his victory in the 2009 final against the French Gaël Monfils. The first of his six coronations in the Parisian indoor tournament, at a time when the setting was still called Palais omnisports de Paris-Bercy.
The record holder of victories in the tournament offered the public a lesson in resilience against Stefanos Tsitsipas against whom he led 8 wins to 2 in direct confrontations. Coming as an expiatory victim during the 2019 edition (6-1, 6-2 defeat), the Greek this time gave the player a hard time at 21 Grand Slams.
Quickly leading a set to zero, Tsitsipas was able to seize his chance, with a better percentage in the first and second balls, and by converting his two break opportunities to win the second act. In an undecided final set with no opportunity to take the other’s serve, the Greek had the opportunity to knock out Djokovic, when he was leading 4-3 in the final tiebreak, with two serves to follow. On the hard Parisian anthracite, “Nole” faltered before picking up the score.
And as often on the decisive points, the Serb grabs the line and tilts the match in his favor, as at the start of the 12the game of the third set while trailing 6-5, on a forehand validated by the video challenge. A precision that will have to be kept against the fiery Holger Rune in the final on Sunday.
The Holger Rune Surprise
The 19-year-old Dane is the sensation of a 2022 Parisian vintage marked by emotions, between Gilles Simon’s farewell tour delayed until the third round, or even the early elimination of Rafael Nadal as soon as he entered the competition. Winner of Félix Auger-Aliassime in the semi-finals (6-4, 6-2), the Rune (18e in the ATP rankings) ended the Canadian’s sixteen consecutive successes – winner of the last three tournaments he played – in a one-sided meeting.
In the space of a week, Holger Rune has hung four members of the Top 10 on his board, and is preparing to play his first Masters 1000 final. Turned pro in 2020, the young hopeful could, in the event of victory, win his third tournament of the year after his successes in Stockholm and Munich. Not bad for a player ranked outside the top 100 at the start of the year.
“He is progressing very, very quickly. (…) His determination is very strong, he has a very big character, which is really necessary to be a champion. rejoices his new trainer Patrick Mouratoglou.
Victorious over Stanislas Wavrinka for his entry into the tournament, the Dane had been qualified as ” baby “ by the Swiss at the end of the game, during the handshake. A reference to his sometimes roomy behavior on the court, as when he asked the Parisian public – won over to the cause of “Stan” – to sit down with a wave of his hand after a winning point. The Dane will however need the support of the boiling public of Bercy on Sunday to unbolt Novak Djokovic, owner of the premises.