Stefanos Tsitsipas is preparing for the season's first Major, reaching the Australian Open semi-final two years ago and seeking another deep run in a couple of weeks. Stefanos reached the second Major semi-final in Paris last year, playing on a high level and pushing Novak Djokovic to the limits before falling in five sets, struggling with a leg injury.
Djokovic prevailed 6-3, 6-2, 5-7, 4-6, 6-1 in three hours and 54 minutes for the 27th Major final and the fifth in Paris and the first since 2016. Tsitsipas was there to fight in the opening two sets, losing the crucial points to fall behind and saving a match point at 4-5 in the third to extend the encounter.
The Greek stole that set and seized the fourth after fending off ten out of 11 break chances, overpowering Novak before running out of gas in the final set. Tsitsipas followed Djokovic's pace in the mid-range and most extended exchanges, losing ground in the shortest rallies up to four strokes.
Novak scored eight breaks and suffered four breaks, starting all over in set number five to cross the finish line first and remain on the title course. Stefanos wasted four break chances in the opener's opening game and suffered one break to hand the set to Novak.
The Serb earned two breaks in set number two and looked good to seal the deal in straight sets. Djokovic grabbed a break at 4-4 in the third set, serving for the victory in game ten. Stefanos saved a match point and converted the 11th break opportunity to level the score at 5-5 and extend the clash.
Stefanos Tsitsipas feels produ about how he fought against Novak Djokovic in Paris.
The youngster held at 30 in the 11th game to move in front and converted the second set point at 6-5 with a forehand down the line winner to force the fourth set.
The Greek worked hard to fend off ten out of 11 break chances in set number four and remain in touch after forging an early 2-0 advantage. Stefanos fended off eight break opportunities in games five, seven and nine, forcing Novak to serve for staying in the set.
The Serb couldn't endure the pressure, wasting two game points and suffering a break following a loose drop shot to hand the set to the Greek. Starting all over, Djokovic scored three straight breaks in the final set to move over the top, setting the ultimate clash against the clay king Rafael Nadal.
"It was sad that it ended that way. But at the same time, I'm proud because I fought very hard. I was the determined Stefanos; I was the Stefanos that went out and was fully focused and committed to my work and my craft; that was excellent.
Roland Garros was an excellent tournament; I really hope I have more like this in the future, and maybe a little bit more luck, that wouldn't hurt either," Stefanos Tsitsipas said.