Last October, Stefanos Tsitsipas pushed Novak Djokovic to the limits in the Roland Garros semi-final before falling in five sets. Eight months later, Stefanos and Novak met in the final in Paris, with the Greek advancing into the first Major title match.
The youngster made a great start before Novak turned the tables around to grab a 6-7, 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 triumph in four hours and 11 minutes to claim the 19th Major crown! Novak looked a bit flat in the opening two sets following a marathon battle with Rafael Nadal on Friday night, finding his strokes after that and sailing over the top to keep Stefanos empty-handed.
Despite a massive setback, Tsitsipas is confident in his abilities at the most notable events, saying he can compete on a high level again and chase a Major trophy after coming so close on Sunday. Djokovic got broken three times in sets one and two and never faced troubles behind the initial shot again while securing eight breaks to control the pace and perform a brilliant comeback.
They both had more winners than unforced errors, and Novak built the advantage in the more extended rallies, leaving Stefanos behind after taming his strokes more efficiently. Djokovic saved a set point in the opening set's tenth game and erased the deficit in the tie break to build a 6-5 advantage.
Tsitsipas fended off a set point and claimed the last three points for 8-6 and a massive advantage. The Greek was the only player in set number two, losing five points behind the initial shot and stealing Novak's serve twice for a 7-6, 6-2 advantage after an hour and 43 minutes.
Stefanos Tsitsipas squandered two sets to lovbe lead against Novak Djokovic in Paris.
Leaving the court for a few minutes, Djokovic regrouped his game in the third set and raised his level to get back on track. The Serb grabbed a break in the fourth game and brought it home for 6-3 and momentum.
Becoming the leader on the court, the Serb fired 14 winners in the fourth set and secured two early breaks that were enough for 6-2. There was only one winner at that point, and Novak didn't make wrong moves in the decider, earning a break at 1-1 and securing the victory with a hold in game ten to cross the finish line and write history books.
"I know I can chase a Major title, despite this loss. I have faith in my game, and I firmly believe that I can compete on a high level. Today I came close to achieve that. Every opponent is challenging, but there's a slight difference between Novak and the rest of the field.
If I continue to work hard, I may win a Major one day. I have gained points at Roland Garros, and I'm happy with my performance and the way I played. I don't think I will regret what I achieved in Paris, and now it's time for the grass season," Stefanos Tsitsipas said.