Brilliant Rune into Paris Masters semi-finals as Alcaraz quits with side injury

The Dane will take on Felix Auger-Aliassime in the semis on Saturday

Holger Rune QF Bercy JB Autissier / Panoramic

Rising Dane Holger Rune produced a statement-making victory as he advanced to the semi-finals of the Paris Masters when world No 1 Carlos Alcaraz quit in the second set because of injury.

The 19-year-old had been the better player for most of the match and was leading 6-3, 6-6 and 3-1 in the tiebreak when Alcaraz, who’d had a medical timeout before the previous game, decided to quit.

“It was a brilliant match from the start to the end,” Rune said. “It’s obviously disappointing for him but I am super pleased how I handled everything today.”

It’s the first Masters 1000 semi-final for Rune, who’s risen up the rankings from outside the world’s top 100 at the start of the year to a spot inside the top 20. He’ll play Felix Auger-Aliassime in the semi-finals, a repeat of the Basel final last weekend, when the Canadian took the title.

“Felix is almopst the only guy I’ve lost to the last two weeks,” Rune said. “I lost to him last week but hopefully I can make it different.”

Carlos Alcaraz Bercy injury

Aggressive Rune rushed Alcaraz from the start

Taking returns early and hitting with huge power, Rune gave Alcaraz no time to recover after serves and he threatened the Spaniard’s serve throughout the opening set.

Alcaraz hung on well until the sixth game when he played a stunning point to break for 4-2 and held the advantage to take the first set.

World No 1 Alcaraz lifted his game again in the second set and Rune made a few more errors but the Dane never dropped his focus. At 6-5, Alcaraz called the trainer and had some hot cream rubbed into his side.

He tried to play on but at 3-1 in the tiebreak, he called it a day. With the ATP Finals due to start in just over a week, the Spaniard’s participation may be in doubt.

Rune has dropped just one set on his way to the last four, having beaten Swiss Stan Wawrinka (4-6, 7-5, 7-6 (3)), Pole Hubert Hurkacz, the No 10 seed (7-5, 6-1) and Russian Andrey Rublev, the No 7 seed (6-4, 7-5).

Alcaraz, who had beaten Japanese Yoshihito Nishioka (6-4, 6-4) and Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov (6-1, 6-3) earlier in the tournament, said he would now have some tests to see the extent of the injury before deciding if he is OK to play in Turin.

“There is something wrong in the abdominal,” he said. “At the end of the set, it was wrong. It was getting (worse) and I preferred to retire and take care about it.

“I have the Nitto Finals. Right now I have some test on how it’s going to be before Turin, but right now I’m focused to try to get better in the abdominal and trying to be at the 100 percent in Turin.”

Paris Masters 1000, other last eight results (Accor Arena, EUR 5.415.410, most recent results first):

  • Stefanos Tsitsipas vs. Tommy Paul
  • Novak Djokovic vs. Lorenzo Musetti
  • Felix Auger-Aliassime beat Frances Tiafoe (16): 6-1, 6-4

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