Novak Djokovic claimed his second Roland Garros crown in June, defeating Rafael Nadal and Stefanos Tsitsipas to secure the 19th Major trophy. Seeking the first Parisian crown in five years, the Serbian overcame all obstacles on his way to the crown, beating Lorenzo Musetti and Stefanos Tsitsipas and notching Nadal's third loss in his favorite event.
After four hours and 11 minutes, Novak beat Rafa 3-6, 6-3, 7-6, 6-2, prevailing in the third set and closing the deal in the fourth against the rival who fought through an injury in the foot. Djokovic was determined to beat Nadal after five straight losses on clay, doing his best in the Rome final a few weeks before Roland Garros and drawing positive vibes despite finishing on the losing side.
Studying the match with his team, Novak knew what he had to risk at Roland Garros to challenge Rafa and beat him on clay for the first time since Rome 2016. Seeking Rome's 10th title, Nadal beat Djokovic 7-5, 1- 6, 6-3 after exhausting two hours and 50 minutes to join Novak in 36 Masters 1000 titles.
Rafa fired 37 winners and 23 unforced errors to dominate a great rival and beat him for the 28th time in 57 games. Nadal won just a couple of points more than Djokovic, losing on the longest rallies and erasing the deficit on the fastest exchanges up to four strokes that led to victory.
They were broken in the early stages of the match and stood side by side for over an hour in the first set, as many times before.
Becker reflects on Novak Djokovic
Boris Becker recently spoke at length about his former ward Novak Djokovic, pointing out how the Serb is often portrayed as the "bad guy"
Becker claimed Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have never been subject to such scrutiny, which makes the treatment meted out to Djokovic "unfair" "I know Novak privately and professionally, and I can only say that he is a fine guy," Becker said while speaking on Eurosport.
"A competitor who sometimes misbehaves on the court, but who doesn't? The public, including the media, really have to get used to the fact that there are not just two, but three [legends], who have great qualities as players and as individuals.
With all the expectations on himself, he must have been asked every day since Wimbledon whether he would win the Grand Slam or become the record holder with 21 Majors," Becker said. "It came over him, so to speak.
His speech after the event was all the more remarkable. Still with wet eyes he explained to the New Yorkers, 'today is the most beautiful day of my life, because finally I feel that I am respected and loved' And this on a day when he could not take advantage of what might have been a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to win all the Majors in one year," the German added.