World No. 1 Novak Djokovic lifted his second Coupe des Mousquetaires trophy, also his 19th Grand Slam triumph by taking down Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-7 (6), 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 in the Roland Garros final on Sunday.
The victory set a historic record for Djokovic, who won the Roland Garros title in 2016, making him the first player in the Open Era – and only the third player in history – to achieve the ‘Grand Slam’ twice. In addition, the victory narrowed his gap with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in the list for most major men’s singles titles to one.
After overcoming the noticeable biggest test in his journey by conquering 13-time champion Nadal in a four-set classic, Djokovic won a place in the final.
Facing the heavy pressure of having Djokovic, the Greek player controlled the first two sets with his powerful serve. However, The Serbian started his comeback in the third set as he stepped inside the baseline while launching smart drop shots to keep his opponent wondering. Djokovic claimed a crucial service break after an 11-minute game, with Tsitsipas saving four break points but failing to halt the world No. 1.
The turning point encouraged Djokovic. After taking a 4-0 lead with a double break, Djokovic dominated the fourth set by dropping only three points on his own serve, finishing the battle in just 39 minutes.
Djokovic, who never encountered a break point after the second set, continued to triumph in the fifth set even though Tsitsipas did not give up struggling. Cheered by the crowd, Tsitsipas saved three break points across two of his service games, but he ultimately lost hope after dropping serve at 2-1, only to witness the Serbian to grab his 19th Grand Slam crown after four hours and 11 minutes.
“I have played almost nine hours over the last 48 hours against two great champions, it was really tough physically over the last three days, but I trusted in my capabilities and knew I could do it,” said the 34-year-old Djokovic.
Tsitsipas admired Djokovic as a great champion. “I am inspired by the things he has achieved and I hope one day I can maybe do half of what he has done so far,” he said.
XINHUA | PARIS