French Open: Novak Djokovic beats Stefanos Tsitsipas in final to win 19th Grand Slam title
Novak Djokovic has claimed his second French Open title after coming from behind to defeat Stefanos Tsitsipas at Roland Garros. Djokovic was two sets down in the match before managing to elevate his game in the last three sets. He won the match 6-7 (6-8), 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 to claim his 19th Grand Slam title. It was a heart-breaking loss for Tsitsipas, who was dominating the match till the start of the third set.
Tsitsipas began the final with a double fault. The two players traded some winners and unforced errors before Djokovic found himself at breakpoint. Tsitsipas saved two on the trot before serving three aces in a row to complete a difficult hold in game 1 after seven minutes.
The two players then showcased red-hot service games. Until game seven, Djokovic played three love-holds, not losing a single point on serve. He had a moment of scare as he slipped while attempting to return a slider from Tsitsipas. He soon got up and continued the game. He lost his first point on serve in game eight, when he overcooked his crosscourt forehand that drifted wide of the sideline.
In game 10, Novak began the service game on a rather uninspiring note, losing three points on his serve to give Stefanos an opportunity to break. However, Djokovic then showed premier mental strength as he not only saved the breakpoint and held his serve but went on to break the Greek in the next game to serve for the set.
Djokovic, however, did not make the most of his opportunity as 22-year-old Tsitsipas broke right back to force the first set tie-breaker.
Tsitsipas raced to a 4-0 lead before Djokovic fought back to level the scores at 6-6. Eventually, courtesy of two botched returns, Tsitsipas bagged the first set 7-6 in 68 minutes.
Tsitsipas picked up from where he left off in the opening set, to make a strong start to set two . He bagged the break point in game one and backed it up with a convincing hold in the subsequent game.
The players traded games before Tsitsipas broke Novak in the seventh game to take a 5-2 lead. He held his serve to sweep the first set in just 35 minutes.
As has been the case throughout Roland Garros, Novak took a bathroom break after the second set. He changed his attire, hoping for a turnaround. Call it superstition or coincidence, it works perfectly in the 34-year-old's favour as he broke Tsitsipas in game four of the set and then consolidated on it to take a 4-1 lead. Eventually, Djokovic went to win the set 6-3 rather comfortably.
Djokovic carried his momentum into set four as he broke Tsitsipas' serve in the first game and dished out a repeat in game three to surge to a 4-0 lead. The 22-year-old finally got off the mark in the set with a love-hold in game 5.
Tsitsipas showed signs of a revival during his service games as he held consecutive games to reduce the parity to 2-5. However, that didn't prove to be enough as Djokovic bagged the set 6-2 to force the decider.
Both players held their respective service games at the start of the final set before Djokovic made things happen. After saving two game points, he broke his opponent and consolidated in the very next game to inch ahead to a 3-1 lead.
Game 7 saw an extraordinary display of grit and fight as Tsitsipas saved two breakpoints, came back from 15-40 down to hold his serve and keep his chances of lifting the glittering trophy alive.
However, and despite winning his next service game, Djokovic, from two sets to love down, scripted an epic comeback to seal the final set 6-4 and win the Roland Garros title for the 2nd time.