Novak Djokovic inched closer in a quest to become the Greatest of all time as he produced one of his finest performance in the final of the French Open 2021. The World No.1 beat the 5th seed Stefanos Tsitsipas coming from 2 sets down in over 4 hours 6-7(6),2-6,6-3,6-2,6-4.
With this victory, Djokovic becomes the first man in the open era to win all the grand slams atleast twice. This was also the first time Djokovic won a grand slam final when he was two sets down.
The final lived upto its expectations right from the start. Tsitsipas showed grit and held a tight service game. Djokovic answered him in style. The Serb had flawless service games, not dropping a single point in his first three. The two served rocked solid with Tsitsipas hitting aces time and again. He hit as many as 7 aces in the set.
The Greek had set points on Djokovic’s serve at 5-4 but couldn’t convert. The set was perfectly poised and went into a tie-breaker. The World No.5 stormed to a 4-0 lead only to see Djokovic stage a comeback. The Serb took 6 of the last 7 points and had a set point. But Tsitsipas showed his mettle and saved it. The momentum was on the Greek’s side and he held his serve to close out the set 7-6(6).
Tsitsipas carried the momentum of the first set into the second. He was quick off the blocks and broke Djokovic in the very first game to take a 2-0 lead. He was holding his serve well and dictating the rallies. He broke the top seed again and took the second set 6-2 in just 35 minutes.
Novak Djokovic- A man on a mission
The third set saw a fresh Novak Djokovic. He went away from the court to freshen up and change his clothes and that break worked perfectly for him. In an epic 11 minute game, Djokovic got the decisive break and consolidated it. That third game of the third set was all he needed to pump himself. The top seed looked like his normal self- hitting winners left, right and center and made Tsitsipas look like a sitting duck. He eventually won the set 6-3 in 53 minutes.
In the fourth set, Djokovic showcased the world why he is the best in the world! He broke a shaky Tsitsipas upfront by playing drop shots to perfection. His court coverage was out of the world in comparison to a rather cold Tsitsipas. He produced sheer class on Chatrier and broke the fifth seed again to take a decisive 4-0 lead. The duo held serve for the remainder of the set with Djokovic winning it 6-2 and taking the final to a decider.
It is said that the Big 3 have nerves of steel and Djokovic practically displayed it. The odds were against him, the crowd was against him, his body was against him but still, he managed to produce the quality of tennis no other player could match. He started the fifth set with a band and broke Tsitsipas in his second service game to take a decisive break. He went on to consolidate that break and needed two match points to win his 19th grand slam title!