The young gun Holger Rune will try to defend his Paris Masters title this week. The Dane has not played well after reaching the Wimbledon quarter-final, adding a six-time Major winner Boris Becker to his coaching staff and hoping to qualify for the ATP Finals.
Holger and Boris have a special connection when we speak about the Paris Masters, standing as the only teenagers who have won the prestigious event! The German had a great run in the closing stages of 1986, winning three indoor titles on three continents within three weeks!
After conquering Sydney and Tokyo, Becker stood as the favorite at the inaugural Paris indoor event. A teenager ousted a qualifier Sergio Casal 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 in two hours and 15 minutes in the title clash, becoming the first champion in Paris.
Boris grabbed an early break in the first set, serving well and taking it 6-4. The young gun clinched the second set 6-3, building a massive advantage ahead of the third. Casal broke in the early stages, leading 4-2 before Becker pulled the break back and introduced a tie break.
Boris won it 7-3 to emerge at the top and celebrate the title. Thirty-six years later, his current pupil Holger Rune became the second teenager with the Paris indoor title. The young Dane played his first tournament as a top-20 player in Paris last year, writing history books and lifting the trophy.
Holger took down five consecutive top-10 rivals and became the fourth-youngest Masters 1000 champion. Rune trailed 6-4, 5-4, 40-0 to Stan Wawrinka in the first round, surviving match points and scoring a thrilling 4-6, 7-5, 7-6 triumph.
Holger met Hubert Hurkacz in the second round and beat him 7-5, 6-1 for a place in the last 16. The Dane fended off all six break points against Andrey Rublev and defeated world no. 9 6-4, 7-5. Holger battled against world no. 1 Carlos Alcaraz in the quarter-final, leading 6-3, 6-6 before the Spaniard retired with an abdominal injury.
Boris Becker and Holger Rune are the only teenagers with the Paris crown.
Rune ousted Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-4, 6-2 after a flawless performance, delivering three breaks and moving into the final. The young gun set the clash against a six-time Paris Masters champion Novak Djokovic and prevailed 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 in two hours and 33 minutes, writing history books and celebrating the title.
Rune saved ten out of 12 break points, including six while serving for the title at 6-5 in the decider! Novak led 3-1, 40-30 in the final set, missing a chance to break the rival's resistance and finishing on the losing side.
Djokovic served well in the first set, breaking Rune in the fourth game and taking the opener 6-3. Holger denied break points at the beginning of the second set and broke Novak in game two. The Dane served well in the remaining games, winning it 6-3 and forcing a decider after 80 minutes.
Djokovic broke in the fourth game and had a game point in the next one that could have sent him 4-1 up. Instead, Rune broke back with a forehand crosscourt winner and leveled the score at 3-3 a few minutes later. The youngster held after deuces in game eight and created a break chance at 5-5 after Djokovic's loose backhand.
Novak sprayed a forehand error, losing serve and falling 6-5 behind. The 12th game produced a real thriller, with Djokovic earning six break points. Rune saved them with brave hitting and seized the second match point after 17 minutes, celebrating his first Masters 1000 crown.