ATP Paris: Holger Rune advances as Carlos Alcaraz retires
by JOVICA ILIC | VIEW 2414
The young Dane Holger Rune will compete in his first Masters 1000 semi-final at the Paris Masters. Holger led 6-3, 6-6 when world no. 1 and his coeval Carlos Alcaraz retired due to abdominal issues while trailing 3-1 in the tie break.
Thus, Holger is 17-2 in his last four tournaments, playing his A-game and cracking the top-20 this week at 19. Rune served at 74% and controlled his service games after fending off both break points. Alcaraz gave his best to stay in touch in the second set, although he could not complete it after feeling the pain in the closing stages.
With these points, Holger is up to top-16 in the ATP Race, and if he beats Felix Auger-Aliassime in the semis, he will rise to top-12. Alcaraz played better behind the first serve, but his second let him down a bit, facing four break points and losing serve once in the opener.
Holger was much more aggressive, firing 28 winners and 24 unforced errors and hoping for more in the next encounter.
Holger Rune will play in the Paris Masters semi-final.
Carlos hit more service winners and built the lead in the shortest range up to four strokes.
Still, Holger was far in front in the more advanced rallies, taming his strokes nicely and leaving the world's best player behind. The Dane held at love in the encounter's first game and earned two break chances in the next one when the Spaniard placed a backhand long.
Carlos denied them and wrapped up the game with a forehand crosscourt winner for 1-1. Both players served well in games three and four, and Rune opened a 3-2 lead with a service winner in game five. Alcaraz squandered game points in game six and lost four straight points to get broken thanks to Rune's forehand winner.
Holger closed the seventh game with a drop shot winner that pushed him 5-2 ahead, and he served for the opener in game nine. Holger fired an ace down the T line for 6-3 in 36 minutes, playing well so far and hoping for more in set number two.
Carlos saved a break point at the start of the second set to avoid an early setback. Holger held with a service winner for 2-2 and repeated that at 2-3 to stay on the positive side after a couple of deuces. Alcaraz created his first break chance in game eight with a sharp return.
Rune saved it with a service winner before facing the second. He denied it with a forehand drive-volley winner and held for 4-4. Carlos held at love in game 11 for 6-5 but called for a trainer. Unable to serve or move properly, the Spaniard retired after falling 3-1 behind in the tie break to push his coeval into the last four.