French Open 2021: Novak Djokovic, Stefanos Tsitsipas clash in epic finale for fascinating 'Paris' showdown
Serbia’s Novak Djokovic is the reigning world number one and has won 18 Grand Slams to date, besides winning the French Open on an occasion. Meanwhile, Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas would be playing his maiden Slam final.
Novak Djokovic of Serbia is the reigning world number and it is generally not a surprise for him to feature in a Grand Slam final. However, considering the case for the ongoing French Open, it is a surprise, as he managed to tame the 13-time defending champion Rafael Nadal of Spain in the semis, dethroning the King of Clay.
Now, with the unthinkable being done, he will have the ultimate task at hand to outplay Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece in the final at the Roland Garros Stadium in Paris on Sunday. Furthermore, it would be a tedious task for the latter, considering this being his maiden Slam final appearance that will eventually put him under some pressure. Nonetheless, it is all set to be a thriller.
Considering the head-on clashes between the two, there have featured in just seven games, with the Serbian leading the race 5-2. As for their clash on clay, the two have met on three occasions, with Djokovic winning on all instances. The two have met once at a Slam, which happens to be last year at the same event.
Considering their last meeting, it happened during the Rome Masters this year, where the world number one won in three sets. As for their previous Slam meeting, during the 2020 French Open, the two met in the semis, and it was a hard-fought tie, as the Greek made him toil until the fifth set before falling short.
- Djokovic would be playing his 29th Slam final, while he is already second in the all-time and Open Era list among men to have played the most slam finals.
- It would also be his sixth RG final, having won just on an occasion, while upon winning, it would be his 19th Slam, just one short of the all-time men’s record by Switzerland’s Roger Federer and Nadal (20).
- If Tsitsipas wins, he would be the first Greek man to win a Slam.
Djokovic: "I know what I need to do. Obviously, Tsitsipas, [his] first time in the finals of a Grand Slam. For him, it’s a great achievement, but I’m sure he doesn’t want to stop there. He’s in great form. He leads [the] Race rankings this year. He’s had his best results overall. I think he matured as a player a lot. Clay [is] arguably his best surface."
"We played an epic five-setter last year in the semis here. I know it’s going to be another tough one. I’m hoping I can recharge my batteries as much as I can because I’m going to need some power and energy for that one."
Tsitsipas: "All I can think of is my roots. I come from a really small place outside of Athens. My dream was to play here and I would never have thought I would achieve it… It was nerve-wracking, so intense; I stayed alive. I went out there and fought. This win means a lot; it’s the most important one of my career so far."
"I’ve never believed, have never really thought at what age that achievement might come, but I’m really happy with myself. I think I’ve shown good discipline so far. I’ve been progressive. I’m looking forward on leaving my entire body on the court."
(As told to ATP)
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