French Open 2021: Novak Djokovic scripts epic comeback against Stefanos Tsitsipas to win 19th Grand Slam title
Serbia’s Novak Djokovic is the reigning world number one and a 19-time Grand Slam champion. It was his second French Open title. Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas played his maiden Slam final and succumbed under pressure despite leading in the opening two sets.
Novak Djokovic of Serbia scripted yet another comeback in the epic final of the French Open 2021 at the Roland Garros Stadium on Sunday. Playing against Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece, the game went until the fifth set, where the world number one maintained his composure and cool to register a 6-7(6), 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 win. As a result, it was the Serbian’s 19th Grand Slam title, while he also won his second title at RG.
Although the world number one seemed to be in a dominating mood in the opening set, the Greek managed to capitalise on his serve break at the closing stages of the set and take it to a tie-breaker, where the Serbian was outplayed. Tsitsipas continued with the same dominance in the following set, breaking Djokovic twice.
However, Djokovic began his bid for a comeback from the third set. He managed to break Tsitsipas early into the set and created pressure over the latter by quickly taking points all across. Also, the Greek appeared to be slowing down on his pace, seemingly having troubles with his back and took a short medical timeout after losing the third set.
Nonetheless, the Serbian seemed to be unstoppable in the fourth set, breezing past his opponent with quick points again and breaking him on a couple of occasions. With an ostensibly tired Tsitsipas, he still did not give up entirely and managed to make Djokovic toil in the deciding set, saving a championship point. However, the cool-headed world number one knew exactly what to do as he sealed his 19th Slam title.
- Djokovic is now a Slam away from equalling the all-time men’s record of 20, currently held by Switzerland’s Roger Federer and Spain’s Rafael Nadal.
- The Serbian is also the sixth man to come back from two sets down in a Slam final in the Open Era after Dominic Thiem, Gaston Gaudio, Andre Agassi, Ivan Lendl and Bjorn Borg.
Djokovic: “Of course, I am thrilled and I’m very proud of this achievement. [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.”
“[This] probably ranks at the top three all-time achievements and experiences that I had in my professional tennis career: going through four-and-a-half battle with Rafa on his court, then bouncing back after not practising yesterday, just coming in today with as much as recharged batteries and energy regained to fight another battle of four-and-a-half hours against Tsitsipas.”
Tsitsipas: “What I learned today is that no matter what, in order for the match to be finished, you have to win three sets and not two. Two sets doesn’t really mean anything. It’s still one away of winning the entire match.”
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