Photo : @rolandgarros
Novak Djokovic, the four-time National Bank Open presented by Rogers champion, won his second Coupe des Mousquetaires and his 19th Grand Slam title on Sunday in Paris. He’s now one Grand Slam win away from tying Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer for the most of all time.
When the French Open announced in May that Nadal and Djokovic were in the same half of the draw, tennis fans were disappointed by the fact that they wouldn’t get to see two of the “GOATs” battle it out for the title on Sunday. They did get to see Nadal and Djokovic face each other in the semi-final – which the Serbian won by a score of 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(4), 6-2. It was Nadal’s first-ever loss at Roland Garros after winning the first set of a match.
In contrast to Djokovic’s 29th Grand Slam final appearance, it was only the first for his opponent, 22-year-old Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece. Tsitsipas defeated Alexander Zverev in the semi-final 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 4-6, 6-3 to punch his ticket to the final showdown in Paris.
Although it wasn’t the fourth installment of a Nadal and Djokovic final on the legendary clay courts of Roland Garros, tennis fans were treated to an entertaining clash between the 2016 French Open champion and the Greek superstar.
In the first set, Tsitsipas up 5-4 had the first set point opportunity. The World No. 1 didn’t flinch, saved set point, and extended the set. Players then exchanged breaks in the 11th and 12th games to send the first set to a tiebreak. Both Djokovic and Tsitsipas had a set point opportunity, but Tsitsipas came out on top to take it 7-6(6).
The World No. 1 looked rattled in the second set and dropped his first service game to go down 2-0 early. Tsitsipas controlled the remainder of the set and took it by a score of 6-2.
In the fourth game of the third set, Djokovic struck first on his fifth break point opportunity of the game. In the seventh, Djokovic delivered one of his many beautiful drop shots on the day to hold a crucial serve. The Serbian won the third set 6-3.
After a shaky start to the match, Djokovic looked as sharp as ever in the fourth set. He broke both of Tsitsipas’ first serves and didn’t allow Tsitsipas a chance to break back. The 2021 French Open would need a deciding fifth and final set.
In the 10th game, on championship point, Djokovic delivered an unreturnable cross-court forehand to win his second French Open title. Today was the first time Djokovic came back from a 0-2 deficit in a Grand Slam final and won. The 34-year-old continues to dominate and will likely be the favourite heading into Wimbledon.