Djokovic claims 19th slam with 5 sets of comebacks at French Open

Paris (AP) — Novak Djokovic left the court to go to the locker room to chat with himself after dropping the first two sets on the final Sunday of the French Open.

Some of him were worried that he would be too diminished and depleted to overcome his deficit against his young and fresh enemy, Stefanos Tsitsipas. And another part of Djokovic claimed he would.

Which side do you think was right?

With the help of a perfect serve, determined Djokovic summoned the best of his empire and Tsitsipas 6-7 (6), 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6- in the second championship. I broke it with 4. In the 19th Grand Slam title overall with Roger Federer — one away from the men’s record shared by Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

“There are always two voices inside. One is to tell you that you can’t do it, it’s over, it’s over. That voice was pretty strong after that second set. “Djokovic said. “So I felt it was time to actually utter another voice and try to suppress the first voice that I was saying I couldn’t make it. I encouraged him. I started repeating it strongly in my heart and tried to live it with my whole being. “

After finishing the match with a jumping volley, Djokovic spread his arms, tapped his chest, crouched down and touched the red clay of Court Philippe-Chatrie. When he became a bystander, he handed his racket to the boy on the stand he said he had been providing advice all the time.

When the third set started, Djokovic felt better and played better.

“After that, I wasn’t too skeptical,” he said.

Yes, his victory has become inevitable from danger. Djokovic did not face any breakpoints in any of the last three sets.

Djokovic, along with Rod Laver and Roy Emerson, has become one of three men to win twice in each major. As the current champion of the Australian Open and the French Open, he will head to Wimbledon starting June 28th. He is aiming for another unusual achievement. He is on his way to joining Labor and Don Budge as the only man to have a calendar year Grand Slam.

34-year-old Djokovic has eliminated 13 French Open champions Nadal. This is a challenge that Serbs liken to mountain scaling. Everest — In the semi-finals that lasted more than four hours on Friday night.

This is only Nadal’s third defeat in 108 major tournaments on Clay Court.

Djokovic also lost to the final of the year after defeating Nadal in the 2015 quarterfinals. When 22-year-old Tsitsipas gained an edge over the drainage Djokovic, it looked like the same fate he had been waiting for on Sunday.

“It wasn’t easy for me,” Djokovic said, “both physically and mentally.”

But he finally completed his sixth career comeback from two setdowns — and his second last week.

Djokovic, who separated 19-year-old Lorenzo Musetti by two sets in the fourth round, won the first major title in his professional career after facing two sets of deficits twice during the tournament.

“Suddenly it got cold and I felt sick,” Tsitsipas said. “I felt like I lost a little to the game.”

This was Tsitsipas’ first major final and the 29th for Djokovic, who also won the 2016 French Open, winning nine at the Australian Open, five at Wimbledon and three at the US Open.

Also important: Djokovic is 35-10 in 5 setters, including 32 major men’s records, but Tsitsipas is 5-5.

“Two sets don’t really mean anything,” said Tsitsipas, who was trying to be the first Greek to win a major.

As temperatures approach 80 degrees Fahrenheit (above 25 degrees Celsius), COVID-19 limits limit attendance to 5,000, about one-third of the capacity, to take the lead on a sunny, refreshing afternoon. It took about 100 minutes.

It can be difficult to step on the clay, and both men made the first set of falls.

Djokovic tended to be a bystander after falling from his head near the net post. He said his body felt the effect for about 30 minutes thereafter. Tsitsipas slipped through the baseline and painted a white shirt and purple shorts with a rusty colored surface.

Djokovic switched tops shortly after the spill, but Tsitsipas remained in dirty clothes. After losing the third set, he requested a visit from the trainer to help with his tight hips, as if he had considered the turmoil as a badge of honor. ..

By that time, the momentum had changed.

The first set was as tight as possible: Tsitsipas scored 43 points and Djokovic scored 42 points.

Djokovic started the second set with a double fault and a swaying forehand volley, which landed much longer and then broke with a wild forehand. Tsitsipas broke again, leading 5-2 on the set, and Djokovic pressed a white towel against his face when switching.

Are you trying to chill? Probably. Are you trying to reset yourself? perhaps.

After the second set, Djokovic took one of the two breaks assigned to each player.

The match was never the same. Tsitsipas believed that Djokovic’s expectations and movements had improved.

“Suddenly I felt like he was able to read my game a little better,” said Tsitsipas.

Djokovic was the best returner and coercor of his will and won an early break in Saab in each of the 3rd, 4th and 5th sets.

When the sun set in the evening, shadows spread throughout the court, and Djokovic complained to referee Chief Aurelie Torte that artificial lighting was on, but it was shining at the most important time.

This was another match that lasted more than four hours, and Djokovic performed his mission again.

“I definitely remember these last 48 hours,” he said.

So maybe everyone else will.


Howard Fendrich, an AP tennis writer in Washington, contributed to this report.


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Serbian Novak Djokovic kissed the cup after defeating Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final round of the French Open tennis tournament in Paris on Sunday, June 13, 2021. Djokovic won 6-7 (6), 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4. (AP photo / Michel Euler)

Novak Djokovic (right) from Serbia and Stefanos Tsitsipas from Greece will hold the trophy after the final round of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros Stadium in Paris on Sunday, June 13, 2021. Djokovic won 6-7 (6), 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4. (AP photo / Michel Euler)

Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas fell on clay while playing Novak Djokovic in Serbia in the final round of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros Stadium in Paris on Sunday, June 13, 2021. I will. (AP Photo / Chibo Camu)

Djokovic claims 19th slam with 5 sets of comebacks at French Open

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