Novak Djokovic silenced a partisan crowd with a 7-5, 6-7 (3), 6-4 win over Holger Rune to march into the semi-finals and take another step towards a seventh Paris Masters crown. In a repeat of the 2022 showpiece, Djokovic was able to brush off boos and a heated exchange with the umpire to edge out the Danish youngster in another three-set thriller in Bercy.
Victory for Djokovic extended his winning streak to 16 matches and helped avenge last year’s loss to Rune in the ATP 1000 tournament.
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The first set was extremely hard-fought and it was not until deuce in the 12th game that a break point was fashioned, but Djokovic, the world No 1, showed his class by taking full advantage with a volley at the net to edge the opener.
It was a different story in set two with early breaks exchanged before Djokovic forced a match point at 5-4 only for Rune to hold his nerve in front of his new coach, Boris Becker.
Djokovic fell out with the umpire, the Frenchman Renaud Lichtenstein, during the same service game over a challenge by Rune, which resulted in boos from the Paris crowd at the end of the second set after Rune had taken the tie-breaker.
The 24-time grand slam champion regrouped in impressive fashion, though, and clinched an early break in the third set to move 3-1 up before the top seed closed out a gutsy victory in two hours and 54 minutes.
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Djokovic appeared to mimic England and Real Madrid’s Jude Bellingham in his celebration, with his arms outstretched, before he looked around at the Accor Arena crowd.