Novak Djokovic chased his 39th Masters 1000 title at the Paris Masters, the seventh in the French capital. The young Dane Holger Rune stood across the net, playing in his first notable final following a great week. A teenager stunned Djokovic 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 in two hours and 33 minutes to become the fourth-youngest Masters 1000 champion and write history books.
Novak had his chances to seal the deal and emerge at the top, creating three break chances at the start of the second set and squandering a game point that could have pushed him 4-1 in front in the decider. Also, the Serb made one last push while trailing 6-5 in the final set, creating six break chances in game 12 but wasting them to push the young gun over the top.
Thus, Holger became the first player who beat Novak from a set down in the Masters 1000 finals! Djokovic was 30-0 in those situations before Paris, gathering a boost in the opener and carrying every victory home between Miami 2007 and Rome 2022!
Novak Djokovic lost the Paris Masters final to Holger Rune after winning the opener.
Novak's rivals took only nine sets after losing the first against him in the Masters 1000 finals but never two in a row. The young Dane changed that in Paris, remaining competitive and passing all the obstacles to overpower a great rival and lift the trophy.
Djokovic won five points more, but not the crucial ones. Holger erased ten out of 12 break chances and converted all three break chances to cross the finish line first. The Dane played aggressive tennis and fired 43 winners and 33 unforced errors.
Novak dominated with his first serve and hit more service winners than Holger. However, the youngster climbed back in the more extended baseline exchanges, taming his strokes nicely and staying focused when it mattered the most.
Novak dropped five points in five service games of the opening set for a reliable start. He broke Holger in game four after the rival's double faults and served well for 6-3. Rune fended off all three break chances in the second set and grabbed his only opportunity on the return to stay competitive.
The Dane broke in game two and controlled the pace in the remaining service games for 6-3, gathering a boost and presenting the final set after an hour and 20 minutes. Novak broke in the fourth game and had a chance to move 4-1 up in the next one and secure his triumph.
Instead, Holger extended that game with a backhand down the line winner and broke back for more drama. Djokovic sprayed a forehand mistake in the 11th game to fall 6-5 behind and allow the rival to serve for the title. The 12th game saw a real roller coaster, with Novak creating six break points that could have prolonged the battle.
Rune saved them after challenging 17 minutes and seized the second match point to become the youngest champion in Paris since Boris Becker in 1986!