COACH Patrick Mouratoglou revealed he felt Holger Rune was under pressure on the morning of the Paris Masters final against Novak Djokovic as he told the Dane to come back so they could speak again. Rune, 19, is becoming known for his fearless attitude as he beat four top-10 players and three-time Grand Slam champion, Stan Wawrinka en route to making the Paris final.
But on the morning of the Paris final, Mouratoglou sensed pressure in Rune’s voice and body language – something not really characteristic for the 19-year-old Dane. Mouratoglou’s “wake-up call” worked as Rune changed returned to his usual self and ultimately stunned Djokovic 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 to win his first Masters title.
“To think you can beat Novak in a final being 19, knowing who Novak is and everything he has achieved, it’s difficult. We spoke in the morning, before the final. But I felt he was not like the other days. I felt pressure.
So I said to him: come back we have to speak again. And there, I saw him come back to himself again. I saw on his face he was ready. He is really expressive, I saw he finally convinced himself he was able to beat Novak;” Mouratoglou told Tennis Majors.
After losing the first set, Rune saved three consecutive break points in the first game of the second set. In the third set, Rune was down by a break but refused to quit as he managed to pull off a big upset win over Djokovic.
“It was tough at the start. He was convinced but being on the court, seeing the crowd, Novak on the other side of the net, the guy you were admiring as a kid, that struck him a little bit. He was shy and not fully playing.
The beginning of the second set was key. He was leading 0-40, the fact that he won that game gave him extra motivation to finally find his best tennis and play to win. But yes, to believe you can beat Novak in such an occasion, you have to be special,” Mouratoglou reflected.