Rod Laver Applauds Novak Djokovic: A Legend's Praise for a Record-Breaking 23rd Major



by JOVICA ILIC

Rod Laver Applauds Novak Djokovic: A Legend's Praise for a Record-Breaking 23rd Major

Novak Djokovic secured the record-breaking 23rd Major title in Paris. Novak took down Casper Ruud in the Roland Garros final 7-6, 6-3, 7-5 to lift his third trophy in the French capital and top the charts with 23 Major crowns, leaving Rafael Nadal on 22.

Another legend, Rod Laver, congratulated Novak on this incredible success, praising the mental strength and skills of the Serb. Djokovic started his 19th Roland Garros campaign with a solid win over Aleksandar Kovacevic. He struggled a bit in the opening set against Marton Fucsovics, winning it in just under an hour and a half and sailing through sets two and three to emerge at the top.

Alejandro Davidovich Fokina pushed Novak to the limits for over three and a half hours, still losing in straight sets! Djokovic needed two hours and 47 minutes to wrap up the opening two sets in the tie breaks, playing better in the decisive moments and bringing the victory home in the third to advance into the last 16.

Juan Pablo Varillas stood no chance against a 22-time Major winner, with Novak sailing over the top and entering his 17th Roland Garros quarter-final. Novak did not break Karen Khachanov in the opening two sets, playing below his best.

He lost the first set and found himself in the tie break of the second. With no room for errors, the Serb grabbed it 7-0 and controlled the pace in the rest of the duel to secure his 90th Roland Garros victory. In what should have been the match of the season, Djokovic met world no.

1 Carlos Alcaraz in the semi-final. Novak won the opener before Carlos responded in the second, following the rival's pace and gathering a boost after over two hours of fearsome battle. However, the young Spaniard started cramping at the start of the third set.

He failed to deal with them, taking only two games in sets three and four and propelling Djokovic into the title clash.

Rod Laver congratulated Novak Djokovic on his 23rd Major title.

Novak needed three hours and 13 minutes to beat Casper, overcoming the deficit in the opener and finishing his Roland Garros campaign with 6-0 in the tie breaks.

Djokovic served above 70%, hitting 11 aces and dominating with his first serve. The Serb lost serve once from four chances offered to his rival and delivered three breaks from ten opportunities to emerge at the top in style and write history books.

Novak fired 52 winners and 32 unforced errors and destroyed the rival in the shortest rallies up to four strokes. Casper never lost ground, giving his everything but failing to win at least a set in his third Major final. Ruud kicked off the action with three fine holds and pushed strong on the return in game two.

The Norwegian created three break chances and seized the last after the Serb's smash error. Ruud easily held in the fifth game to open a 4-1 gap before Djokovic pulled the break back at 2-4 after the rival's loose smash. Novak saved a break point in game eight to level the score at 4-4 and missed his opportunity on the return in the next one.

The set went into a tie break, and the Serb displayed his nerves of steel. Djokovic cracked a forehand down the line winner in the first point and moved 2-0 up with a volley winner at the net. Novak forced the rival's mistake for 4-1 and created five set points with an ace.

The Serb fired a forehand crosscourt winner on the first to wrap up the opener in 81 minutes and gain a massive boost. Djokovic dropped only five points behind the initial shot and grabbed an early break that sent him in front.

He broke Ruud with a forced error in the second game and landed a backhand down the line winner at 5-3 for a hold at love and two sets to love advantage. There were no breaks in the third set until the crucial moment at 5-5.

Novak produced the proper strokes and broke Casper at love with a backhand crosscourt winner to move 6-5 up and serve for the title. Djokovic held at 15 in game 12 after drawing the rival's mistake to emerge at the top and start a massive celebration of a record-breaking title.

"Congratulations on winning 23 Majors Novak and cementing your legacy in another command performance at Roland Garros. Your skill and unwavering mental fortitude on all surfaces is astonishing. Kudos to Casper Ruud, who valiantly pushed this great champion all the way," Rod Laver said.

Rod Laver Novak Djokovic Roland Garros