Rune shock for Djoker, out in last-8

ROME, May 17

Holger Rune sent an off-colour Novak Djokovic tumbling out of the Italian Open today as the talented Dane prevailed 6-2 4-6 6-2 in an epic battle against the defending champion to secure his place in the semifinals.

Rune outlasted Djokovic in three sets in last year’s Paris Masters final and the 20-year-old got off to the perfect start in search of another upset by breaking the world No. 1 in the opening game of the match. The seventh seed showcased his aggressive style and mixed up his game with some delicate drops to race ahead 4-1 as Djokovic looked uncomfortable in between points having admitted a day earlier that he was dealing with a physical issue.

Rune squandered a late break point opportunity but the fast-fading Djokovic could not prevent him from closing out the first set as some sections of the crowd appeared to be in disbelief over the six-time champion’s struggles.

Djokovic took a painkiller midway through the second set and the 35-year-old roared back to life a short while later to go up 5-2 following a break and a hold, as Rune completely lost his cool over a line call by the chair umpire. — Reuters

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