Novak Djokovic: 'I beat Rafael Nadal in his kingdom, but the job is not done yet'
by JOVICA ILIC | VIEW 21744
Novak Djokovic claimed the second Roland Garros title in June, adding the 19th Major to his tally and securing the second leg of the potential calendar Grand Slam. Djokovic had to work hard in his final four matches in Paris, coming from two sets to love against Lorenzo Musetti and facing three top-10 rivals en route to the trophy.
After staying on the court for three and a half hours versus Matteo Berrettini, Djokovic battled against Rafael Nadal and Stefanos Tsitsipas for over eight hours and prevailed over both rivals to celebrate his first Parisian trophy in half a decade.
Speaking about his campaign, Novak stated that you usually win the title on clay after beating Rafa in the latter stages, but not this time, as he faced another formidable opponent in the final two days later. Djokovic and Nadal faced for the 58th time, and the Serb scored the 30th victory over a great rival, beating him 3-6, 6-3, 7-6, 6-2 in four hours and 11 minutes.
Djokovic was ready to make an extra push after five straight losses to Nadal on the slowest surface and defeat the most formidable opponent. The Serb scored eight breaks and stood as the more determined player on the court with 50 winners and 37 unforced errors.
Moreover, he pushed Nadal's backhand to the limits and subdued the rival's forehand to forge a massive advantage in the mid-range exchanges and bring the victory home. The Spaniard generated a 5-0 lead in the opener and claimed it 6-3 despite some problems in the second part.
Novak found his strokes in the meanwhile and won the second set to get back into contention.
Novak Djokovic spoke about his thrilling Roland Garros campaign.
From 5-3 down in the third set, Nadal climbed back to 5-5 and created a set point in the 12th game that could have been crucial had he converted it.
Novak saved it and gathered momentum ahead of the tie break to win it 7-4, never looking back and delivering three breaks in set number four to seal the deal and reach the final. In a battle for the trophy, the Serb trailed two sets to love against Stefanos Tsitsipas before turning the tables and winning the next three in style to complete a perfect fortnight and lift the 19th Major trophy.
"It was unbelievable to beat Rafa at his tournament, where he has been a dominant figure throughout his career. I could have felt that the event was over at that moment, but it was not. I had to recover and step on the court against Stefanos 40 hours later. The way I won the title was memorable, and it has a double value. I'm super happy," Novak Djokovic said.