Paris Masters champion was branded ‘child’ in spat with tennis icon earlier than profitable title | Tennis | Sport

Holger Rune is ready to defend his Paris Masters title this coming week after an epic run 12 months in the past that noticed him stun Novak Djokovic within the ultimate. Aged simply 19, Rune pulled off an unimaginable feat when he beat 5 top-10 gamers within the area of 5 days to elevate his greatest title. However his time in Paris acquired off to a tough begin when he argued with Stan Wawrinka throughout his first-round match because the three-time Main winner branded Rune a “child”.

Rune loved a stellar rise in 2022, beginning the season outdoors of the world’s high 100 and ending it by making his high 10 debut and profitable his maiden Masters title. The Dane got here into final 12 months’s Paris Masters in type off the again of profitable the Stockholm Open and reaching the Swiss Indoors ultimate.

He had a tricky opening match as soon as he acquired to France, developing in opposition to former world No 3 Wawrinka, who raced to a 6-4 lead. Rune was pressured to save lots of two match factors within the second set and yet another within the third earlier than taking it in a decisive tiebreak 4-6 7-5 7-6(3).

And Wawrinka didn’t appear proud of the world No 6 as soon as the match lastly reached its dramatic conclusion. “My recommendation to you is to cease performing like a child on court docket,” the three-time Grand Slam champion advised Rune as they shook fingers on the internet.

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The feedback didn’t trouble the Dane, who then went on a formidable run following his victory over Wawrinka. Rune turned the primary participant to beat 5 top-10 gamers in a single week en path to a title outdoors of the ATP Finals, the place solely the highest eight on this planet get to compete.

He downed Hubert Hurkacz and Andrey Rublev to succeed in the quarter-final, the place he led Carlos Alcaraz by a set earlier than the world No 1 acquired injured and retired within the second set tiebreak. Rune then snapped Felix Auger-Aliassime’s 16-match profitable streak within the semi-final to arrange a showdown with Novak Djokovic within the ultimate. He got here from a set all the way down to stun the tennis icon 3-6 6-3 7-5 and elevate the trophy.

However his first-round run-in with Wawrinka wasn’t the tip of the “child” saga. Rune’s mom and agent Aneke later got here out to disclaim ideas that the Swiss star mentioned something damaging about her son earlier than it turned obvious that there was undoubtedly unhealthy blood between them.

“It’s arduous to think about {that a} sportsman like Stan would have mentioned that. Then he would come throughout as an uncommonly unhealthy loser. Holger has solely talked about that he wished him effectively with the outcomes of the previous weeks,” Aneke Rune claimed. However Rune himself clearly remembered Wawrinka’s remarks once they met once more on the court docket in Indian Wells earlier this 12 months.

The 38-year-old was the winner this time, upsetting the No 7 seed 6-2 6-7(5) 7-5. And Rune referenced their Paris Masters spat after shaking fingers with Wawrinka on the internet. “You bought nothing to say to me now?” the 20-year-old requested.

Rune needed to repeat himself when Wawrinka couldn’t hear what he mentioned. However the Swiss star wasn’t getting concerned this time, asking: “What would you like me to say?” Rune can be hoping that there isn’t any drama in Paris this time round when he returns to defend his title.

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