In his first Major final, Stefanos Tsitsipas did everything right in the opening two sets against world no. 1 Novak Djokovic. Despite that, the young Greek couldn't bring the victory home and embrace a Major glory, as Novak beat him 6-7, 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 in four hours and 11 minutes to claim the 19th Major trophy and the second in Paris!
It was a heartbreaking loss for Tsitsipas, who missed a chance of becoming the youngest Roland Garros winner since Rafael Nadal in 2008. The Greek said that he doesn't understand what happened with his game after the second set that he won comfortably, losing ground and never regaining his A-game after feeling inferior to Novak.
Djokovic lost serve thrice in the opening two sets before shifting into a higher gear, dominating on both serve and return in the rest of the clash to leave the youngster behind and extend his dominance at Majors. Stefanos saved two break points in the opening game to avoid an early setback and created a set point at 4-5.
Djokovic saved it after a 25-stroke rally and grabbed a break to open a 6-5 advantage. Ready to fight, Stefanos broke back to introduce a tie break, where he saved a set point at 5-6 to claim the last three points and gain a massive boost after almost 70 minutes.
Stefanos lost five points behind the initial shot in set number two and turned ten return points into two breaks and a huge advantage. The Greek broke the Serb in games one and seven to forge a 5-2 lead and held with a service winner in game eight to move closer to the finish line.
That step is never an easy one against Novak Djokovic, though, and the Serb confirmed that once again. Novak regained his strokes and started all over in the third, serving well and keeping the pressure on the other side of the net.
The Serb grabbed a break in the fourth game and carried the advantage home for 6-3 and momentum on his side.
Stefanos Tsitsipas wasted two sets to love lead against Novak Djokovic.
Djokovic was even more dominant in the fourth, flying on wings of confidence and firing 14 winners.
Stefanos couldn't follow that pace, taking only three return points and suffering breaks in games one and three to fall 6-2 and further away from the trophy. The Greek wasted a couple of game points at 1-1 in the decider, which he couldn't afford, as Novak broke him to open a 2-1 gap.
Stefanos faced troubles again at 2-4, erasing two break chances and bringing the game home to remain within one break deficit before Djokovic secured the victory with a hold at deuce in game ten. "I started playing very short from the third set, losing my rhythm for an unexplained reason.
It was strange, considering how I played in the first part of the match. I felt inferior to Nole, and it was hard to readjust and get back at my best. I lost control of my game, and it's very sad to finish on the losing side, as I missed an excellent opportunity. I played well, and I hope it will be better the next time around," Stefanos Tsitsipas said.