Novak Djokovic plays for the 21st Major title at the US Open and an elusive calendar Grand Slam, achieved by only two players before him in tennis history. Novak claimed the season's opening three Majors and will complete the collection in New York if he scores six more wins.
Following his 20th Major crown at Wimbledon, Novak went to Tokyo and fought for an Olympic Gold medal, the one he misses in his rich collection. Doing everything right until the semis, Djokovic suffered two tough losses to Alexander Zverev and Pablo Carreno Busta, leaving Tokyo empty-handed and throwing everything on the US Open crown.
Novak will have to deal with his nerves during the event, as his quest won't get any easier. Patrick Mouratoglou believes it can be his weakness, already showing some signs in the Roland Garros final against Stefanos Tsitsipas in the opening two sets.
The first-time Major finalist forged a 7-6, 6-2 advantage before Djokovic shifted into a higher gear to claim the remaining three sets like it's the easiest thing in the world and lift the second Parisian trophy. Novak needed four hours and 11 minutes to prevail 6-7, 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4, heading into the locker room after the second set and returning as a different player who left the young gun behind to extend his streak at Majors.
Djokovic got broken three times in sets one and two, never facing troubles behind the initial shot again and securing eight breaks to control the pace and cross the finish line first. They both had more winners than unforced errors, and Novak built the advantage in the more extended rallies, taming his strokes more efficiently and leaving Stefanos behind in that segment.
Djokovic saved a set point in the opener's tenth game and erased the deficit in the tie break to build a 6-5 advantage.
Patrick Mouratoglou shared thoughts about the Roland Garros final.
Staying calm, Tsitsipas saved a set point and claimed the last three points for 8-6 and massive momentum.
Stefanos was the only player in set number two, dropping five points behind the initial shot and producing two breaks for a 7-6, 6-2 advantage after an hour and 43 minutes. Leaving the court for a few minutes, Djokovic returned and started all over in the third, raising his level and staying calm while having no room for errors.
The Serb grabbed a break in the third set's fourth game and carried the advantage home for 6-3 and momentum. Never looking back, Novak fired 14 winners in the fourth set and lost three points in his games, backing that with a couple of breaks for 6-2 and a massive advantage ahead of the decider.
The Greek wasted a couple of game points at 1-1 in the fifth and allowed Novak to earn a break. Tsitsipas erased two break chances at 2-4 and brought the game home to remain within one break deficit before Djokovic secured the victory with a hold in game ten that carried him towards the 19th Major crown.
"I felt that Novak was super nervous in the opening two sets of the Roland Garros final against Stefanos Tsitsipas, much more than usual," Patrick Mouratoglou said.