Novak Djokovic quieted a biased audience by beating Holger Rune 7-5, 6-7 (3), 6-4 and advancing to the semi-finals, bringing him closer to winning his seventh Paris Masters title. Despite facing jeers from the crowd and a tense exchange with the umpire, Djokovic was able to triumph over the young Danish player in a thrilling three-set match at Bercy, just like in their previous encounter in 2022.
Djokovic’s triumph increased his consecutive victories to 16, and also served as retribution for his defeat against Rune in last year’s ATP 1000 tournament.
The initial round was fiercely contested and only in the 12th game, at deuce, was a break opportunity created. However, Djokovic, the top-ranked player in the world, displayed his skill by seizing the chance with a volley at the net to clinch the first set.
In the second set, things played out differently as both players exchanged early breaks. Djokovic then had a match point at 5-4, but Rune remained composed in front of his new coach, Boris Becker.
During the same service game, Djokovic and the umpire, Renaud Lichtenstein, had a disagreement. This was due to a challenge made by Rune, which led to boos from the Parisian audience at the conclusion of the second set when Rune won the tie-breaker.
The 24-time winner of grand slam tournaments rallied back in an impressive manner. She managed to secure an early break in the third set, giving her a 3-1 lead. The top seed then showed determination and won the match after two hours and 54 minutes.
Djokovic imitated Jude Bellingham of England and Real Madrid in his post-game celebration by raising his arms and then turning to acknowledge the audience at the Accor Arena.