Rune Shocks Djokovic In Rain & Drama Filled Clash In Rome

Rune Shocks Djokovic In Rain & Drama Filled Clash In Rome

by Evita Mueller

Holger Rune will be playing in the semifinals of the 2023 Italian Open after beating Novak Djokovic in Rome.

It's the Dane's first appearance at the ATP 1000 event in the Italian capital and he had to play some challenging matches on his way to the quarterfinal, with the most challenging clash coming against the top seed Novak Djokovic.

Their most recent meeting ended in favour of the youngster when he defeated him at the Paris Masters last year. This time, the 22-time Grand Slam champion wanted to avoid the loss, but the match proved to be much more challenging than he probably expected.

Ahead of the match, the Serb didn't want to talk about the injury that has been bothering him as he was afraid that his rivals would be able to use the information. And even though Rune probably didn't know much about it, it was obvious in the first set that Djokovic wasn't 100% fine.

He was always one step behind and the 20-year-old took advantage of that. He broke in the first game of the match and after saving two break points and adding one more break, nothing could stop Rune from winning the first set 6-2.

But the second set was where all the drama unfolded. After taking some painkillers, Djokovic started playing visibly better, but it was a moment when the umpire Mohamed Lahyani made a bad call that overshadowed the match.

Rune was visibly upset with the call that cost him a point and despite his best efforts, he was broken and faced a 2-5 deficit. The Dane managed to break back but when the scoreboard showed 5-4 30-0 for Djokovic, the match had to be suspended due to rain.

One hour later, players returned to the court and the experienced Serb won the following two rallies to take the second set 6-4 and force a decider against the seventh-seeded youngster.

More drama awaited in the third set after Djokovic faced an early one-break deficit and in an attempt to avoid another break, he received a time violation from the umpire in the third game of the match.

He called him out for 'acting' and asked why is drama needed when calling the score. In that game, the Serb was broken again and he never managed to recover from the two-break deficit as Rune won the match 6-2, 4-6, 6-2 to reach the 2023 Italian Open semifinals.


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