Novak Djokovic produced a sensational turnaround from two sets down to defeat Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-7 2-6 6-3 6-2 6-4 and…
Novak Djokovic produced a sensational turnaround from two sets down to defeat Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-7 2-6 6-3 6-2 6-4 and claim his second French Open title in a thrilling final at Roland Garros.
The world number one – also champion in Paris in 2016 – demonstrated trademark resilience and determination after recovering to become the first male player of the modern era to complete a double Career Grand Slam.
It also took the Serbian’s major tally to 19; moving him to within one of the record shared by Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
Meanwhile Djokovic, who also triumphed in Australia four months ago, remains on course for the Golden Slam, with Wimbledon, the Olympics and US Open still to come in 2021.
The first Greek to appear in a Grand Slam final, Tsitsipas held his own during a tense opening set that was neck and neck before eventually advancing to a tie-break; serving seven aces along the way.
There, despite seeing an early lead fade and facing set point, the fifth seed rescued the scenario and drew first blood 8-6.
Seeking a third triumph on clay this season having already triumphed in Monte Carlo and Lyon, the 22-year-old built on his momentum.
Hitting 13 points from 15 on his powerful first serve and committing just two unforced errors, he broke twice on the way to clinching the second set 6-2.
Djokovic, who came through an epic semi-final with 13-time champion Nadal less than 48 hours earlier, had never won a Grand Slam showpiece from losing the opener.
Although, he did have fresh memories of his turnaround from two down against Lorenzo Musetti in round four of this event to fall back on.
The six-time Roland Garros finalist looked rejuvenated in the third with a crucial break at the fifth attempt in game four proving crucial as he saw it out 6-3 to close the gap.
Djokovic had tightened up and taken his number of unforced errors down into single figures against Tsitsipas, who appeared to be struggling with a hip problem as the fourth set ensued.
The Serb began to stamp his authority on proceedings with back-to-back breaks on the way to taking it 6-2 and forcing another decider for his opponent, who withstood Alexander Zverev’s fightback from two sets down in the semis.
But seeing his moment slipping through his fingers, the Greek’s fatigue and frustration was evident as Djokovic secured what proved to be a vital break in the third.
The fifth set remained on serve with Tsitsipas, who hit 14 aces during the match, keeping his faint hopes alive at 5-4 behind.
However, there was to be no denying Djokovic as he served out victory in the next to bring the curtain down on a fabulous fortnight at Roland Garros.