Holger Rune: Teenager stuns Novak Djokovic to claim Paris Masters title



CNN

Teenager Holger Rune stunned Novak Djokovic in the Paris Masters final 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, dropped 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 6-5 before saving six break points to clinch the biggest title of his career.

The win makes Rune the youngest Paris champion since Boris Becker in 1986 and sees him break into the top 10 of the world rankings for the first time.

“I want to start by giving a big congratulations to Novak as well,” he told Djokovic, who is 16 years his senior, in his post-match interview.

“You’re one of my favorite players, I’ve been watching you since I was little, practicing with you. It’s a pleasure to share the court with you now.”

Following 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 before Sunday’s final how Rune “reminds me of myself”, and in the final the Dane had to channel the mental toughness and never-say-die attitude that has characterized much of Djokovic’s career.

The win capped off a fantastic week for Rune, having beaten five top-10 players throughout the tournament, while also saving match points against Stan Wawrinka in the first round.

When he won an epic 16-minute match to complete victory against Djokovic, Rune lay on the floor and covered his face with his hands in disbelief.

“If you told me four weeks ago, I’d be in the top 10 … I’d be like, ‘What, sorry?'” he said. “Now I’m here and I’m very proud.”

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