World number one Novak Djokovic shakes off a slow start and rustiness to dominate the young and talented Stefanos Tsitsipas in the men’s singles final of French Open 2021 on Sunday. Djokovic completed a mammoth turnaround by beating Tsitsipas 6-7(6), 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 to lift his second Roland Garros title at the iconic Court Philippe-Chatrier. The victory also sealed a historic feat for Djokovic, who became the first player in the Open Era in 52 years to win all Grand Slam titles twice. Overall, the Serb became only the third player in history – to achieve the career Grand Slam twice. Roy Emerson and Rod Laver are the only men to have won each Grand Slam on two or more occasions.Also Read - Tokyo Olympics 2020 Tennis: Novak Djokovic Loses Bronze Medal Playoff vs Pablo Carreno Busta; Belinda Bencic Wins Gold
The 34-year-old Djokovic, who previously won the Roland Garros title in 2016, added a 19th Grand Slam title to his illustrious trophy cabinet. His victory is Paris also narrowed the gap on 20-time champions Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal at the top of the list for most majors men’s singles titles. The world number one began the season by lifting his ninth Australian Open trophy, and by claiming his second Grand Slam title in a row he remains on track for a calendar Grand Slam. Also Read - Tokyo Olympics 2020: Novak Djokovic Defeats Kei Nishikori to Enter Semi-Finals
Meanwhile, Djokovic’s journey to French Open glory was a roller-coaster ride. After battling back from two sets to love against Italian teenager – Lorenzo Musetti in the fourth round, Djokovic overcame arguably the biggest test of all, taking down 13-time champion Rafael Nadal in a four-set classic in the semifinal of French Open 2021. Djokovic, who trailed 0-5 in the opening set and faced set point in the high-quality third set, needed four hours and 11 minutes to complete the 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(4), 6-2 triumph. Also Read - Tokyo Olympics Tennis: Novak Djokovic Starts Campaign With a Win; Daniil Medvedev to Face Sumit Nagal in Second Round
It took Djokovic a couple of sets to find his range against world number five Tsitsipas, who raced to a two-set lead in his maiden Grand Slam final. But the World No. 1 staged a ‘comeback of ages’ in the third set by claiming a crucial service break after an 11-minute game four. Despite saving four break points, Tsitsipas was unable to hold back against World No. 1, and the latter took a 3-1 lead.
The Serb turned the match on its head in the fourth set and dropped only three points on his own serve. By winning 86 per cent (12/14) of points behind his powerful first service. Djokovic took a 4-0 lead with a double break and levelled the scoreline by taking the fourth set in 39 minutes.
Djokovic continued to dominate in the fifth set even as Tsitsipas continued to impress with his skill and talent at the grandest stage of Tennis. Cheered and supported well by the Chatrier crowd, Tsitsipas saved three break points across two of his service games, including two to hold for 4-3. But the Greek could not find a way back after dropping serve at 2-1, and the World No. 1 sealed his 19th Grand Slam title after four hours and 11 minutes.
This was the first major final for Tsitsipas and 29th for Djokovic. The Serb has now won two French Open titles, along with nine titles at the Australian Open, five at Wimbledon and three at the US Open.
Meanwhile, Djokovic also became just the sixth player in Open Era history to erase a two-set deficit in a Grand Slam final. He is the first to do it at Roland Garros since Gaston Gaudio’s 2004 turnaround against Guillermo Coria.