Novak Djokovic won the French Open men’s singles championship, securing his 23rd Grand Slam title and surpassing Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. Despite a shaky start in the final against Casper Ruud, Djokovic regained his composure and dominated the match, winning 7-6 (1), 6-3, 7-5 in 3 hours and 13 minutes. This victory puts Djokovic alongside his French Open titles in 2016 and 2021 as the only man to win three titles in each major event. Furthermore, Djokovic is now halfway to achieving a calendar-year Grand Slam, a feat not accomplished since Rod Laver in 1969.
Djokovic’s win also propels him back to the number one spot in the ATP rankings. At 36 years old, he becomes the oldest singles champion at Roland Garros, known for its grueling matches on the red clay surface. Djokovic’s dominance is evident in his 11 victories in the last 20 Grand Slam tournaments. It’s worth noting that he missed two majors during this period due to his refusal to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
With 23 Grand Slam titles, Djokovic equals Serena Williams for the most titles in the Open era, which began in 1968. However, Margaret Court holds the all-time record of 24 Slam trophies, which she achieved in the amateur era. Djokovic’s next challenge will be Wimbledon, where he will continue his pursuit of the calendar-year Grand Slam.
In the final against Ruud, Djokovic initially struggled with his forehand, allowing Ruud to take an early lead. However, Djokovic quickly adjusted and reduced his unforced errors. He won the first set tiebreaker convincingly, with four winners and no unforced errors. The set alone lasted 1 hour and 21 minutes and featured numerous intense rallies. Djokovic’s defensive skills and ability to prolong points drained Ruud’s energy and will to compete.
Throughout the match, Djokovic took advantage of the allotted time for changeovers, often pushing the limit and receiving warnings from the chair umpire. His dominant performance was celebrated by his gesture to his box in the stands, which included his coach, Goran Ivanisevic, his wife, two children, his agent, and even NFL star Tom Brady.
As Djokovic adds another Grand Slam title to his name, the debate over who deserves the title of the greatest tennis player of all time continues. With his 23 championships, Djokovic currently holds the edge in terms of Grand Slam victories.