ATP Roland Garros: Novak Djokovic tops Stefanos Tsitsipas and writes history



by   |  VIEW 3524

ATP Roland Garros: Novak Djokovic tops Stefanos Tsitsipas and writes history

World no. 1 Novak Djokovic claimed the 19th Major title following a thrilling 6-7, 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 win over the first-time Major finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas. The encounter lasted for four hours and 11 minutes, and Novak stayed calm after the second set to produce his second comeback from two sets to love down this week in Paris and lift the second Roland Garros crown after 2016.

Thus, Novak has moved closer to Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, who stand on 20 Major titles, and became the first player in the Open era with two trophies at all four Majors! Djokovic lost serve thrice in the opening two sets before shifting into a higher gear, dominating on both serve and return in the remaining three to leave the youngster behind and extend his dominance at Majors since 2011.

Nothing could separate them in the opening set, with one point standing between great rivals and a single break on each's tally from three opportunities. The youngster needed a good start, and he made it after fending off two break chances in the opening game that fed him with a necessary boost.

Servers were on a roll in the next eight games, dropping only a couple of points and leaving returners without a glimpse of a chance. Serving at 4-5, Djokovic repelled a set point after taking a 25-shot rally and moved in front with a break in the next one when Tsitsipas sprayed a forehand mistake.

Losing ground in those moments but feeling ready to fight, Stefanos forced Novak's error in the 12th game to pull the break back and deliver a tie break. Trailing 5-2, Novak rattled off four straight points for a 6-5 lead and a set point.

Stefanos saved it with a forehand down the line winner right after the serve and grabbed the crucial mini-break at 7-6 to wrap up the opening set in just under 70 minutes. Carried by this boost, the Greek was the only player on the court in set number two, penetrating Djokovic's defense and taming his strokes nicely to forge the advantage on both serve and return.

Novak Djokovic came from two sets to love down to beat Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Stefanos lost five points behind the initial shot and converted ten return points into two breaks and a massive two sets to love lead. Tsitsipas broke Djokovic in the first game and moved 5-2 in front when Novak netted an easy forehand.

The youngster closed the set with an unreturned serve a few minutes later and moved a set away from Major glory at 22. Like many times before, 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 seized the fifth break chance in the fourth game and served well to defend the advantage and take the set 6-3. Hitting the zone, Djokovic was even more dominant in the fourth, firing 14 winners and losing three points behind the initial shot.

Stefanos couldn't follow that pace, moving further away from his best tennis and suffering breaks in games one and three that Djokovic converted into 6-2 and became the favorite ahead of the decider. The Greek wasted a couple of game points at 1-1, and he couldn't afford that, as Novak broke him to open a 2-1 gap and get the finish line within his sight.

Stefanos faced troubles again at 2-4, erasing two break chances and bringing the game home to remain within one break deficit. Djokovic held at love in the eighth game to stay ahead, losing 14 points in his games from set number three and taking another step towards the triumph.

Tsitsipas held after deuce in the ninth game to extend the duel before Djokovic brought the victory home on his serve to start a massive celebration.