– I met Holger a couple of years ago in the US Open when he was very young and I saw the talent. There will always be tough matches where we run all the way to the end. It was a great victory against a great player, says Djokovic afterwards in Eurosport’s broadcast.
Djokovic was irritated from the start but was unfazed by the crowd’s boos, which he answered with challenging gestures, often reaching for his ear.
It heated up at 5-4 in the second set. Djokovic hit a ball just fine, something the umpire didn’t spot. Rune continued the game and raised his hand for a late challenge. He would have finished the game and challenged. The point went to Rune who would have had the point after all because Djokovic knocked the ball out.
Djokovic focused on the rules and not that he had hit the ball.
“His ball went out”
In the messy situation, it was decided 30-30, which was correct given what happened but not according to the regulations which would have led to 40-15 and two match points for Djokovic.
– His ball went out and then he made the challenge, pointed out a furious Djokovic.
The judge stood his ground:
– That is my assessment and I will not change my mind, he replied.
In the next ball, the Serb went ahead 40-30 and a match point that Rune saved and eventually forced a tiebreak which he won 7-3.
After the match ball was hit, Djokovic slowly walked around with the racket in a victory gesture and flashed his biggest smile.