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19-YEAR-OLD RUNE STUNS DJOKOVIC TO WIN PARIS TITLE



It’s not often that a player defeats Novak Djokovic from a set down and in a high-pressure deciding set to win a title – let alone a teenager, after four consecutive top-ten wins in the lead-up.


But Denmark’s Holger Rune, at just 19 years of age, has done exactly that to claim his first Masters 1000 title in Paris.


The teenager enjoyed one of the more remarkable weeks seen in recent history, overcoming Stan Wawrinka, Hubert Hurkacz, Andrey Rublev, Carlos Alcaraz, and Felix Auger-Aliassime just to reach Sunday’s final.


Rune’s week could easily have been over before it got going, needing to save three match points in his first-round clash with Wawrinka and calling it “the most stressful game of [his] life”, post-match.


The Dane then won seven sets on the bounce (Alcaraz retired one set down), all coming against top ten opponents, en route to the biggest final of his career.


Despite his winning form ahead of the decider (18-2 in his past 20 matches), Rune was a clear underdog against the six-time Paris champion in Djokovic.


A 16-year gap in age and experience was on display early as Rune double-faulted twice to hand the Serbian an early break and the opening set.


Slightly unsettled again to commence the second, Rune fought from 0-40 down to find one of the bigger holds of his career – before breaking Djokovic minutes later and bringing the final to life.


After serving his way into a third, the 19-year-old again found himself down a break and played a series of incredible points off the backfoot to level the match.


At 5-5 in the decider – where Djokovic so often becomes unbeatable – it was Rune who broke and then held in consecutive deuce games to lift the trophy.


“It means everything to me – a perfect way to finish off the week,” Rune said post-match.


“It’s a privilege to share the court with Novak.”


The seventh youngest man to lift a Masters 1000 title was ranked outside the top 100 at the beginning of the season and will now soar to world number 10 in the ATP rankings.


He will also be the first alternate for the ATP Finals in Turin and will be required should Rafael Nadal or anyone else pull out.


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