Novak Djokovic now is the first tennis player to win the Career Grand Slam twice in the Open Era and is halfway to the calendar year Grand Slam. With 19 Grand Slam titles, the Serb is now just one title short of what Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have achieved.
World No.1 Djokovic on Sunday made an astounding comeback after suffering defeats in two sets to beat fifth seed Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-7(6), 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 to win the French Open title. The match took place for four hours 11 minutes. It was the top seed Djokovic’s second French Open title and 19th Grand Slam title in all.
With remarkable spirit on the display, despite losing the first two sets, the 34-year-old Serbian rallied silently and won the last three sets against Tsitsipas to win with the trophy. Staging a comeback is not new to Djokovic. Sunday was the sixth time he had reassembled from being two sets down, and the first time he has done it in a Grand Slam final. Djokovic was two sets down against Lorenzo Musetti in the fourth round, and then he defeated 13-time champion Rafael Nadal in the semi-final match that lasted four sets.
Before Djokovic, there have been four players in the Open Era who had rallied from being two sets down in a Roland Garros final namely Bjorn Borg (1974), Ivan Lendl (1984), Andre Agassi (1999), and Gaston Gaudio (2004). The only player to achieve this feat at another Grand Slam in the Open Era was Dominic Thiem, who did it at the US Open final last year.
With the latest silverware in the cabinet, Djokovic has become the first man in the Open Era to win all four majors twice. He’s now won the Roland Garros twice, Australian Open nine times, Wimbledon five times and the US Open three times. Roland Garros was the only one title that was keeping him from a Double Career Slam. Though, Roger Federer and Rafael Nada have 20 Grand Slam singles titles each, they both have one major keeping them from completing a Double Career Slam. In 2009, the Spaniard won the Australian Open while Federer won Roland Garros—it's the only year either of them won those tournaments.
After the win Djokovic was quoted as saying by tennis.com, “Of course, I am thrilled and I’m very proud of this achievement. I think being part of the history of the sport that I love with all my heart is always something that is very inspiring and very fulfilling for me. I couldn’t be happier and more satisfied with this kind of scenario in the last 48 hours.”
“Probably ranks at the top three all-time achievements and experiences that I had in my professional tennis career,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Serbian’s overall prize money across singles and doubles entering the French Open was $148 million, ahead of Federer ($130 million) and Nadal ($124 million). Two months back, he also created the record for sitting atop in the ATP Rankings. He surpassed Federer’s mark of 310 weeks and is still going strong at 326 weeks. Not many can now claim against the notion that Novak Djokovic is a superhuman!
(With agency inputs)