Djokovic tops Tsitsipas in 5 at French Open for nineteenth main


PARIS — Gifted and tenacious as they arrive, Novak Djokovic was not about to concede a factor after dropping the primary two units of the French Open closing towards his youthful, more energizing foe, Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Djokovic seemed diminished and depleted on the outset Sunday. By the top, he was at his imperious finest.

The highest-seeded Djokovic got here all the way in which again to beat the fifth-seeded Tsitsipas 6-7 (6), 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 for his second championship at Roland Garros and nineteenth Grand Slam title total.

Djokovic is now only one main trophy away from tying the boys’s file of 20 shared by Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. And reigning Australian Open champion Djokovic now stands midway to a calendar-year Grand Slam, one thing no man has achieved since Rod Laver in 1969.

The 34-year-old Djokovic eradicated 13-time French Open champion Nadal — a problem the Serb likened to scaling Mt. Everest — in a semifinal that lasted greater than 4 hours Friday night time.

That was solely Nadal’s third profession loss in 108 matches on the clay-court main match.

Djokovic additionally defeated Nadal in Paris in 2015 earlier than shedding that 12 months’s closing, and it appeared as if the identical destiny was ready Sunday.

Djokovic seemed drained early, and the 22-year-old Tsitsipas had the higher hand for 2 units.

“It was not simple for me, each bodily and mentally,” Djokovic mentioned, “particularly over the previous two or three days.”

Finally, although, Djokovic began making fewer errors, acquired his best-in-the-game returning on monitor and served so flawlessly down the stretch that he didn’t face a single break level during the last three units.

That enabled him to finish his sixth profession comeback from two units down — and second of the previous week.

Certainly, the Worldwide Tennis Federation mentioned Djokovic — who trailed 19-year-old Lorenzo Musetti two units to none within the fourth spherical — is the primary man within the skilled period to win a Grand Slam match after twice going through a 2-0 deficit in units.

Expertise may have been an element, too.

This was the primary main closing for Tsitsipas and twenty ninth for Djokovic, who additionally received the French Open in 2016, together with 9 titles on the Australian Open, 5 at Wimbledon and three on the U.S. Open.

Of simply as a lot, if no more, significance to the final word consequence Sunday: Djokovic entered the day with a 34-10 file in five-setters — together with a males’s-record 31 wins in Grand Slam matches of that size — whereas Tsitsipas was 5-4.

On a sunny and breezy afternoon, with the temperature approaching 80 levels Fahrenheit (over 25 levels Celsius), Tsitsipas wanted simply over 100 minutes to seize a giant lead Sunday.

A supreme returner and imposer of his will, Djokovic grabbed early breaks of serve in every of the third, fourth and fifth units.

Shadows had been spreading throughout the courtroom because the solar descended within the early night and, although Djokovic complained that the unreal lights had been switched on, he shined when it mattered probably the most.

This was one other match that lasted greater than 4 hours, and Djokovic was as much as the duty once more.


AP Tennis Author Howard Fendrich in Washington contributed to this report.


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