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Novak Djokovic fights back to win second French Open title

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Novak Djokovic French OpenSerbia’s Novak Djokovic celebrates with the trophy after profitable the French Open in opposition to Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas (Reuters picture)

Novak Djokovic captured his second French Open title as he recovered from being outplayed for 2 units by Stefanos Tsitsipas to win 6-7(6) 2-6 6-3 6-2 6-4 on Sunday.

Djokovic’s seismic semi-final win over 13-times champion Rafa Nadal seemed like being in useless as an impressed Tsitsipas received the primary two units to face on the point of changing into Greece’s first Grand Slam champion.

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After failing to transform a set level in an enthralling 72-minute opener filled with brutal rallies, after which crumbling within the second set, Djokovic seemed drained.

His hopes of banking a nineteenth Grand Slam title seemed bleak however he rediscovered his mojo within the nick of time to show the match round in emphatic trend.

The 34-year-old, who received his first French crown in 2016, rattled by means of the third and fourth units as Tsitsipas, taking part in in his maiden Grand Slam ultimate, misplaced his depth.

Fifth seed Tsitsipas valiantly tried to dig in at the beginning of the fifth set because the shadows unfold throughout a sunlit Courtroom Philippe Chatrier. However, having left a lot perspiration on the crimson clay up to now week, Djokovic remained steadfast.

There have been nerves as he served at 5-4, netting a simple volley after which seeing a Tsitsipas backhand flash by him on championship level. However Djokovic knocked off a volley to finish the competition after 4 hours and 11 minutes.

In transferring only one behind the file of 20 shared by Nadal and Roger Federer, Djokovic additionally grew to become the primary participant within the skilled period to win every Grand Slam title a minimum of twice.

“It was once more an electrical ambiance. 9 hours of tennis in lower than 48 hours,” Djokovic mentioned on courtroom.

“It’s not simple; bodily and mentally it was very, very tough for me, these three days. I believed in my capacities and in my recreation. It’s a dream come true.”

Tsitsipas, 22, seemed forlorn as he slumped in his chair, having fallen wanting hanging a blow for the subsequent era attempting to loosen the grip of the outdated guard.

“It was a giant struggle on the market, I attempted my greatest and did as a lot as I might,” he mentioned.

Nobody can deny Djokovic earned his nineteenth Grand Slam title the exhausting means. Not solely did he inflict solely a 3rd ever Roland Garros defeat on Nadal, he additionally got here from two units right down to beat Italian Lorenzo Musetti within the fourth spherical.

Having additionally received the Australian Open this yr he’s midway to a calendar-year Grand Slam and might be favorite when the main target switches to Wimbledon later this month.

For Tsitsipas there was no easing in to his first Grand Slam ultimate. He saved two break factors in his opening service recreation, one with a backhand and one with an ace.


He settled rapidly, nonetheless, marking out his territory together with his backhand wanting rock strong.

Favorite Djokovic was thrown off his stride when he took a heavy tumble chasing down a drop shot at 3-3 and the Serb was in bother at 4-5, framing a forehand excessive into the stands handy Tsitsipas a set level.

The gamers traded backhands however Djokovic produced a intelligent angle to fend off the hazard.

He then served for the set at 6-5 however produced a poor recreation and a tiebreak was wanted to separate them.

It was Djokovic who seemed to be feeling the consequences of his battle with Nadal as he double-faulted on the way in which to falling 4-0 behind.

However he regrouped and produced a sensational drop volley at 3-5 earlier than forging 6-5 forward solely to see his set level whipped away by a fizzing Tsitsipas forehand.

Djokovic then shunted a backhand large handy Tsitsipas a second set level and this time the Greek took benefit as Djokovic’s forehand misfired.

There was a touch of despondency about Djokovic and Tsitsipas sensed it, dominating the second set after breaking early. Djokovic netted a forehand to fall 2-5 down and provided scant resistance as Tsitsipas held to take a two-set lead.

Then the backlash started. The Serb started hanging the ball extra aggressively and nearer to the traces and engineered 5 break factors in an energy-sapping fourth recreation — finally changing for a 3-1 lead when the Greek missed a backhand.

It proved a pivotal second as Djokovic carried the momentum into the fourth set with Tsitsipas, who wanted therapy on his decrease again, beginning to fade, dropping serve twice.

From then on just one final result seemed possible as Djokovic made certain the established order on the high of males’s tennis stays.

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