The world number 1 came from two sets down to beat Stefanos Tsitsipas and claim his 19th Grand Slam title.
22-year-old Stefanos Tsitispas, who is appearing in his first Major final was “running away” with two sets in the bag, and the young man from Athens was starting to look like the Greek god of clay.
But if there’s one tennis situation that perhaps no player in history has handled better than Djokovic, it’s needing five sets to win. Trusting his endurance, the best defensive player the game has ever seen, clawed his way back into Sunday’s French Open final against Stefanos Tsitsipas—and then simply overwhelmed him.
With a 6-7(6), 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 victory, Djokovic claimed his 19th major title and his second of the year. He is now chasing the first calendar-year Grand Slam in men’s tennis since Rod Laver pulled it off in 1969.
According to TennisAbstract, Djokovic career record coming into today’s final in contests goes to full distance of 34-10.
Djokovic also sits just one major behind the all-time men’s record of 20, currently held by Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. The way things stand, he appears better positioned to add to his haul than either of his closest rivals. Federer, 39, pulled out of the French Open after the third round to nurse a knee that has been operated on twice in the past 18 months. Nadal, however, looked short of his usual dominant self here on clay, and has won only one major on any other surface in the past three years.
Djokovic in his words says that “the hunt to be the greatest to have graced the sport is what keeps him getting out of bed to train every day at age 34”.
He further heaped praises on Tsitsipas, who on his way to the final had to take down the world no. 2, Daniil Medvedev, and survived five sets against Alexander Zverev.
“You know that you have to kind of climb Mount Everest to win against this guy here,”Djokovic had said at the time.
Djokovic reminded the sport today that no matter the surface, something about fifth sets in Grand Slams belongs to him.