Novak Djokovic moved to within one Grand Slam title of both Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal following his impressive comeback victory versus Stefanos Tsitsipas in the French Open final. continue reading this article to know more on Noval Djokovic closing in on Grand Slam record following Roland Garro’s triumph.
Djokovic found himself two sets down early on but fought back in menacing style to win the match in five sets and earn himself his 19th Grand Slam,whilst once again proving that you can never write the Serb off, at any stage.
The match-up had so much riding on it for the world number one and despite his evident elite talent, nobody really gave him a chance before the tournament began.
Roland Garros was meant to be the tournament where Nadal gave himself breathing room at the top – it was meant to be number 21 for him. Not only is the Spaniard the ‘King of Clay’ but his record at the French Open prior to this year’s semi-final was 105-2. In fact, he hadn’t lost a match at Roland Garros since 2015.
But Djokovic quite clearly hadn’t read the script and he put him to the sword in the semi-final. After losing the opening set 3-6,he took the next three 6-3, 7-6, 6-2 and booked himself a ticket to the final.
Victory in the final wouldnot only put him within one Grand Slam of both Nadal and Federer but it would make him the first man in the Open era to win all four Grand Slams on at least two occasions. The pressure was firmly on.
And you could argue the pressure showed in the initial stages. Tsitsipas looked comfortable (or as comfortable as can be against Djokovic) and raced into a two-set lead. The Serb looked disinterested and lethargic before a bathroom break changed it all.
Maybe he just really needed the loo, but whatever it was, the 34-year-old came out revitalised and you felt the entire vibe in the arena shift. The real Novak Djokovic had stood up.
After taking the third set 6-3 and halving the overall deficit, you just knew it was going to happen. Djokovic had that commanding look on his face that an opponent must truly dread. The momentum had shifted and nothing was going to stop the Serb from claiming his 19th Grand Slam title.
He convincingly took the remaining sets 6-2 & 6-4 and speaking after the game, he spoke of that shift in attitude during the third set that was so evident as a spectator.
Djokovic said: “I told myself I can do it [during the break between the second and third set], encouraged myself. I strongly started to repeat that inside of my mind, tried to live it with my entire being.
“Once I started playing in that third set, especially in the first few games, I saw where my game is at, it kind of supported that second voice that was more positive, more encouraging. After that, there was not much doubt for me.”
There are many that claim that the magnitude of this result has rubber-stamped the 34-year-old’s status as the true GOAT of the sport and it may well have done. But his job looks far from over. He looks more motivated than ever and whilst the carrot of the leading honours holder still hangs above his head, it’s doubtful he’ll be satisfied just yet.
The result has of course affected the men’s Wimbledon betting odds with the bookies seeming just as convinced by the Serb’s motivation levels. Djokovic is a strong favourite to win yet another Wimbledon trophy and make it 20 Grand Slams at 11/8. Roland Garros runner-up Tsitsipas is the second favourite at 11/2.