The matchup between Djokovic and Rune has been a fascinating one. Djokovic won the first match in 2021, while Rune won the next two. One of those happened earlier this year in Rome, while the other happened a year ago at this very ATP 1000 event.
It was the final of the Paris Masters, and Rune earned a comeback win over Djokovic, putting himself in the Top 10 for the first time in his life. One year later, Rune almost did the same thing.
Djokovic took the opening set, a good set for both players but just a bit flat by Rune in the most crucial moment of the set. Neither had many chances to start, but Djokovic had a break point late and took it.
That's all he needed, one single break point coming after a few bad mistakes from Rune. The second set opened far better for the Danish youngster.
Rune took an early break but got broken immediately after that, which was a proper momentum killer. He kept pushing, though, making his way to a tiebreak where he actually outplayed Djokovic comfortably.
It was amazing to see because he struggled with some cramping before that. Things didn't go so well in the final set as he lost his serve early to give Djokovic the break he needed.
From there, it was a rather simple journey for the Serbian, who never allowed Rune to get close to a break point from that point on.
The final score was 7-5 6-7(3) 6-4 for Djokovic who moved on to the semi-final. Djokovic finished with ten aces and 32 winners. Rune was pretty good himself but simply not good enough. It happens.