Teenager Holger Rune stunned Novak Djokovic in the Paris Masters final on Sunday, beating the 21-time Grand Slam champion 3-6 6-3 7-5.
The 19-year-old Rune, playing in his first Masters 1000 final, dropped the first set and came from a break down in the second to level the match.
He then had to hold his nerve in the decider, breaking for 6-5 before saving six break points to clinch the biggest title of his career.
The win makes Rune the youngest Paris champion since Boris Becker in 1986 and breaks into the world’s top 10 for the first time.
“I want to start by congratulating Novak as well,” he told Djokovic, 16 years his senior, in a post-match interview.
“You are one of my favorite players, I have been watching you since I was a child, training with you. It is a pleasure to be able to share the court with you now.’
After 19-year-old Carlos Alcaraz’s grand slam title at the US Open in September, he looks set to join Spaniard Rune as another rising star of the game.
Djokovic said before Sunday’s final how Rune “reminds me of myself”, and in the final the Dane had to channel the mental toughness and never-say-die attitude that has characterized much of Djokovic’s career.
The victory capped a great week for Rune, who defeated five top-10 players during the tournament and also saved match points against Stan Wawrinka in the first round.
After winning an epic 16-minute match to complete his victory over Djokovic, Rune lay on the ground and covered his face in disbelief.
“If I said four weeks ago, I’d be in the top 10 … I’d be like, ‘What, sorry?'” he said. “Now I’m here and I’m very proud.”