Holger Rune, a teenager, stunned Novak Djokovic on Sunday in the final of the Paris Masters. She won 3-6 6-3 7-5 over the 21-time grand champion.
Rane, a 19-year-old, was playing in his first Masters 1000 final. He lost the first set but came back in the second to tie the match.
The decider was his final test of nerves. He broke for a 6-5 lead, before saving six break points to win the largest title of his career.
Rune becomes the youngest Paris champion since Boris Becker in 1986. He also enters the top 10 world rankings.
In his post-match interview, he told Djokovic that he wanted to begin by saying “huge congrats to Novak” to Djokovic (16 years his junior).
“You are one of my favorite players. I have been watching you and practicing with you since I was little. It’s an honor to be able to share the court with you now.
Following 19-year-old Carlos Alcaraz winning his maiden grand slam title in September at the US Open, Rune looks poised to join Alcaraz as one of the game’s rising stars.
Djokovic had stated before Sunday’s final that Rune “reminds” him of myself, and the Dane had to channel the mental toughness of Djokovic and his never-say-die attitude throughout the final.
Rune won the victory, having defeated five of the top-10 players in the tournament and saving match points against Stan Wawrinka.
Rune was stunned to discover that he had won a 16-minute epic game against Djokovic.
“If you had told me four weeks back, I would have been in the top ten… I would be like, ‘What, Sorry?'” he replied. “Now, I’m here and it’s super proud.”