19 Grand Slams for Novak Djokovic!
Stefanos Tsitsipas took the first set 7-6 in 68 minutes. And the second set 6-2 in just 32 minutes. Djokovic came back to take the third set 6-3 in 46 minutes, the fourth set 6-2 in 33 minutes and the fifth in 55 minutes.
Djokovic on Tsitsipas: “I know because I have been in the same position. These are the kinds of occasions that you learn from the most, and knowing him and his team he’s going to come out much stronger from this match today, and I definitely believe he’s going to win many Grand Slams in the future. So respect to you, and your team.”
Jim Courier: “Novak, congratulations, you continue to change the way we look at this sport and it’s just been a real privilege to watch you in this journey that’s still continuing.”
Djokovic vs Tsitsipas: 6-7, 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4
30-30. Djokovic cutting down the pace on his serves. A chance for Tsitsipas? No. Djokovic brings down the hammer on the next point to earn himself a championship point but one that Tsitsipas saved with an amazing backhand down the line. The Serb, however, wasn’t going anywhere. He won an incredible 17-shot rally to earn another championship point and this time that was all he needed. A 19th Major honour for Djokovic, his second Roland Garros title. What fight by Tsitsipas but at the end of the day, Djokovic showed why he is one of the greatest ever players to grace the game.
Djokovic vs Tsitsipas: 6-7, 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 5-4
Tsitsipas with another gutsy hold. He continues to fight but the match is on Djokovic’s racquet. If he holds, he wins. Can the Greek player find a way to break the Serb? Can he find a way back?
Djokovic vs Tsitsipas: 6-7, 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 5-3
Another easy hold from Djokovic, who has cut down on the pace of his first serve in a bid to take the second serve out of the equation.
Djokovic vs Tsitsipas: 6-7, 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 4-3
Tsitsipas fighting back from 15-40 down to make it deuce. And then got an advantage after Djokovic sent one wide. But finally another tough hold for the Greek but a hold nonetheless. He is hanging in there by the tips of his fingers. Still alive but only just.
Djokovic vs Tsitsipas: 6-7, 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 4-2
Tsitsipas wants Djokovic to blink but the Serb is all focus now. Another very good service game –- his first serve percentage is up to 73% in this set.
Djokovic vs Tsitsipas: 6-7, 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 3-2
Vital hold for Tsitsipas. It allows him to stay engaged and keep believing. Djokovic didn’t make it easy but the Greek world no 5 holds on. Can he mount an attack on the Djokovic serve?
Djokovic vs Tsitsipas: 6-7, 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 3-1
Djokovic with an important hold – a hold to love. He consolidates the break and Tsitsipas’ body language isn’t looking good.
Djokovic vs Tsitsipas: 6-7, 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 2-1
BREAK! Tsitsipas fought and fought but Djokovic somehow still managed to get the first break of the fifth set. Numerous runs to the net to pick up drop shots and somehow, they are both still running around. Incredible fitness level but Djokovic edges ahead and he can see the finish line now.
Djokovic vs Tsitsipas: 6-7, 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 1-1
Djokovic holds too. A much simpler hold. Pressure back on Tsitsipas.
Djokovic vs Tsitsipas: 6-7, 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 0-1
Djokovic took an early 0-30 lead but Tsitsipas, clearly trying to be more aggressive now, made it 30-30 quickly. A long backhand gave Djokovic a break point which Tsitsipas saved. Then a big serve gave the Greek a game point. Djokovic made it deuce before Tsitsipas finally managed to hold his serve. He hangs on and edges ahead. A massive hold. The fans are making themselves heard now.
Tsitsipas to start things up in the fifth set. We have a one-set shootout now.
Djokovic vs Tsitsipas: 6-7, 2-6, 6-3, 6-2
And we have a decider. Djokovic holds easily to take the fourth set in just 33 minutes. Wow. What a player! When does one count him out? Two sets down, many would have given up. But Djokovic’s belief is bulletproof.
Djokovic vs Tsitsipas: 6-7, 2-6, 6-3, 5-2
Good hold for Tsitsipas. It means Djokovic has to serve for the set and if he does, then Tsitsipas serves first in the decider.
Djokovic vs Tsitsipas: 6-7, 2-6, 6-3, 5-1
Quick hold. Just what Djokovic would have wanted. No drama.
Djokovic vs Tsitsipas: 6-7, 2-6, 6-3, 4-1
Finally, a hold for Tsitsipas and an easy one at that.
Djokovic vs Tsitsipas: 6-7, 2-6, 6-3, 4-0
Easy does it. Tsitsipas needs to make a decision here... how involved does he stay in the set now? Should he focus on the fifth set? Twenty minutes into the fourth set, Djokovic is in complete control.
Djokovic vs Tsitsipas: 6-7, 2-6, 6-3, 3-0
BREAK! Djokovic all over Tsitsipas now. On his second break point at the end of an 8 minute 20 seconds game, Djokovic came up with the perfect looped drop shot. Tsitsipas had no chance of getting to it and is now two breaks down in the fourth set.
Djokovic vs Tsitsipas: 6-7, 2-6, 6-3, 2-0
Djokovic worked his way to another breakpoint but mistimed his return to make it 40-40.
Djokovic vs Tsitsipas: 6-7, 2-6, 6-3, 2-0
Easy, easy hold. Djokovic consolidates the break. He is growing in confidence and that is not good news for Tsitsipas.
Djokovic vs Tsitsipas: 6-7, 2-6, 6-3, 1-0
Two break points to start the fourth set and Djokovic needed just one. An early break and the momentum has very clearly shifted in the direction of 18-time Grand Slam champion. Tsitsipas under immense pressure now.
Tsitsipas has gone off the court for a change and will also be consulting a physio.
Djokovic vs Tsitsipas: 6-7, 2-6, 6-3
A double fault, Djokovic’s third of the match, made it 30-30. Then a big, big forehand gave him a set point and he finally took the third set in 46 minutes. We are into the fourth set. Does Tsitsipas have the legs and the focus to keep concentrating on the right things? Djokovic did not face a BP in the third set.
Djokovic vs Tsitsipas: 6-7, 2-6, 5-3
Djokovic was up 0-30 in the early going made it 30-30 before he won another battle at the net after Djokovic returned a drop with one of his own. Gutsy hold. He will make Djokovic serve for the set.
Djokovic vs Tsitsipas: 6-7, 2-6, 5-2
A superb service hold for Djokovic who is now only one game away from taking this match into the fourth set. The highlight of the game has to be a drop shot he played with the scored tied at 30-30. It was so good that Tsitsipas couldn’t even get to it. Perfect.
Djokovic vs Tsitsipas: 6-7, 2-6, 4-2
Two double faults in the game but Tsitsipas manages to hold. Djokovic wasn’t able to take advantage of that opportunity.
Djokovic vs Tsitsipas: 6-7, 2-6, 4-1
Djokovic looks like he is finding his groove here. He consolidates the break and just looks energised.
Djokovic vs Tsitsipas: 6-7, 2-6, 3-1
BREAK! A lovely drop shot and a wonderful read of what Djokovic would do with it helped Tsitsipas save one breakpoint. But then the Serb conjured up another BP. Tsitsipas dealt with two difficult overheads to save the BP and bring it back to deuce. Djokovic though wasn’t prepared to go away. He earned himself a third BP which was once again brilliantly saved by Tsitsipas. Then, a fourth BP. But this time Djokovic sent a forehand wide with Tsitsipas standing still at one end. A big serve gave Tsitsipas a game point but now the Serb found a way to level it at deuce again. Then, Djokovic got another BP. Tsitsipas visibly tiring and he sent a backhand wide. That game lasted 11 minutes 23 seconds. Phew.
Djokovic vs Tsitsipas: 6-7, 2-6, 2-1
Vital hold for Djokovic. Tsitsipas made him sweat a little but the world no 1 hangs on.
Djokovic vs Tsitsipas: 6-7, 2-6, 1-1
Good hold for Tsitsipas to even the third set up at 1-1. Important for him to not even give Djokovic a peek here.
Djokovic vs Tsitsipas: 6-7, 2-6, 1-0
A good first game for the Serb. He needs to find some momentum quickly. Just to start feeling better about his game.
Djokovic vs Tsitsipas: 6-7, 2-6
Tsitsipas takes the second set in just 31 minutes. He simply overpowered Djokovic there. Djokovic struggling to win points on his serve and that had a huge impact on the set.
Djokovic vs Tsitsipas: 6-7, 2-5
BREAK! Tsitsipas’ physicality coming to the fore in the game. A wonderful get after a nice Djokovic drop showed just how much he has improved. He had two break point but Djokovic saved them both. But a brilliant forehand earned the Greek another break point and this time, he did not falter. Tsitsipas is up a double break now.
Djokovic vs Tsitsipas: 6-7, 2-4
Tsitsipas holds with an ace. Right in the corner. Djokovic looking a little low on energy for now or maybe he is just trying to make the point shorter to conserve energy.
Djokovic vs Tsitsipas: 6-7, 2-3
A quick love service hold for Djokovic. Finding some rhythm on his serve again.
Djokovic vs Tsitsipas: 6-7, 1-3
Tsitsipas holds again to open up the two-game cushion. Djokovic moving a little better but not good enough.
Djokovic vs Tsitsipas: 6-7, 1-2
Vital hold for Djokovic. It looked like Tsitsipas running away with this but this will allow the Serbian to settle down a little.
Djokovic vs Tsitsipas: 6-7, 0-2
Tsitsipas was under pressure but he backs up the break with a forehand that caught the line after the game went to deuce.
Djokovic vs Tsitsipas: 6-7, 0-1
BREAK! Tsitsipas playing some wonderful tennis to make it 0-40 on the Djokovic serve. Three breakpoints and he needed just two. Wow. Big momentum shift.
Djokovic vs Tsitsipas, 6-7
First set to Tsitsipas.
1-0: Tsitsipas holds it easily.
2-0: Tsitsipas gets the mini-break.
3-0: A gorgeous down-the-line backhand from Tsitsipas was too hold to deal with for Djokovic.
4-0: An unforced error by Djokovic – a forehand is dumped into the net.
4-1: Finally, a point for Djokovic. A tumble of Tsitsipas as he was wrong-footed.
4-2: A lovely drop shot makes it 2 points in a row for Djokovic.
5-2: A stunning forehand down the line from Tsitsipas. Superb! Djokovic has no chance.
5-3: Djokovic comes back with a solid point to force an error out of Tsitsipas.
5-4: Wow. The Djokovic drop volley kissed the top of the tape. Some luck but he is making it.
5-5: Djokovic evens it up. Here we go. Again.
5-6: Djokovic turns this around with some spectacular play. He now has a set point. Ahead for the first time in the tiebreaker.
6-6: Tsitsipas responds with an inside-in forehand that finds the corner. What a shot!
7-6: Tsitsipas holds his nerve, defends well against the good return and he now has another set point.
8-6: A Djokovic mishit gives Tsitsipas the 68-minute first set. High-quality tennis on display.
Djokovic vs Tsitsipas, 6-6
BREAK BACK! Tsitsipas opened up a 0-40 lead on the Djokovic serve as the Serb missed his first serves and then got the break back. We are into the tiebreak. The Greek world no 5 was so calm under pressure.
Djokovic vs Tsitsipas, 6-5
BREAK! And how often have we seen Djokovic do this? He saved a set point in the last game and has now come back to break the Tsitsipas serve. Once the rally begins, the Serb is dominating. Djokovic will now serve for the set.
Djokovic vs Tsitsipas, 5-5
A missed overhead smash gave Tsitsipas a peek and then the Greek made it 30-15 but Djokovic came up with an ace to make it 30-30. Then a really deep ball got the mishit from the Serb and suddenly, Tsitsipas had a set point. But Djokovic won was arguably the point of the match so far (the longest rally of the match so far: 25 shots) to make it deuce. Then, he managed to win the next two points and hold. He saved a set point there. Big hold.
Djokovic vs Tsitsipas, 4-5
Lovely touch at the net by Tsitsipas. A solid hold and he is a game away from taking the first set. Djokovic will serve next to stay in the first set.
Djokovic vs Tsitsipas, 4-4
Djokovic continues to serve well and he has not really been tested on his serve so far. 35 minutes into the match, we are 4-4. A mature start to the match. Neither player going all out yet.
Djokovic vs Tsitsipas, 3-4
Tsitsipas holds but Djokovic took a tumble while trying to retrieve a drop shot. Seemed to be fine, just a little shook up.
Djokovic vs Tsitsipas, 3-3
Djokovic breezing through his service games. Another easy hold. He has missed just one first serve in the match so far.
Djokovic vs Tsitsipas, 2-3
Tsitsipas was up 30-0 but then Djokovic caught up in the blink of an eye to make it 30-30. An ace gave him a game point and then Djokovic sent a backhand wide.
Djokovic vs Tsitsipas, 2-2
Another easy hold for Djokovic. His first serve percentage is very high and that is always a good thing. Pressure right back on Tsitsipas.
Djokovic vs Tsitsipas, 1-2
Better rhythm in this serving game for Tsitsipas and some solid ball-striking from the back of the court too. He closed it out with an ace.
Djokovic vs Tsitsipas, 1-1
A tight game for Tsitsipas but Djokovic, on the other hand, breezes through. An easy hold to love.
Djokovic vs Tsitsipas, 0-1
Tsitsipas started off nervously with a double fault but then settled in quickly. Djokovic, however, made it 40-40 with a lovely backhand down the line and then worked his way to an advantage. But Tsitsipas came up with his own backhand down the line to get it back to deuce. Brilliant defence got Djokovic another breakpoint but Tsitsipas saved it with an unreturnable serve before finally clinching the game. Two breakpoints saved by the Greek in the game. But he holds serve and that is important.
Tsitsipas to start the proceedings. Here we go!!!
Warming up: Four of their seven meetings that have gone the distance. Will we get more of the same today?
The players are taking the court. We are all set for what should be a fabulous final. One grizzled, all conquering champion against a young star who is getting better with every passing year.
Beating Nadal and then...
The semi-final epic against Nadal would have taken a lot out of Djokovic. Those who have beaten Nadal at Roland Garros in the past haven’t gone on to win the title. Djokovic beat Nadal in the 2015 quarter-finals but went on to lose to Stan Wawrinka in the final. And Robin Soderling, who defeated Nadal in 2009, also lost in the final to Roger Federer.
Stat alert: At 22 years 305 days, Tsitsipas is one win away from becoming the youngest Grand Slam singles men’s champion since Juan Martin del Potro (20 years, 355 days) won the 2009 US Open, and the youngest Roland Garros men’s champion since Nadal (20 years, 5 days) won the title here in 2008. Does he have enough left in his tank?
Novak Djokovic can become the first man in 52 years to win all four Grand Slam titles twice in the French Open final today.
World number one Djokovic takes on Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas for the title with tennis history on the line.
Victory for the Serb will take him alongside Roy Emerson and Rod Laver as the only men to capture the four majors more than once.
It’s an achievement that has proved even beyond the capabilities of Nadal and Roger Federer.
It is so rare an accomplishment that it hasn’t happened since 1969 when Laver completed his second calendar Grand Slam.
Djokovic can pocket a 19th Slam with victory and move just one behind the record of 20 jointly held by Nadal and Federer.
Head-to-head: Djokovic leads 5-2
2018 Toronto Hard R16 Tsitsipas 6-3, 6-7 (5/7), 6-3
2019 Madrid Clay F Djokovic 6-3, 6-4
2019 Shanghai Hard QF Tsitsipas 3-6, 7-5, 6-3
2019 Paris Hard QF Djokovic 6-1, 6-2
2020 Dubai Hard F Djokovic 6-3, 6-4
2020 French Open Clay SF Djokovic 6-3, 6-2, 5-7, 4-6, 6-1
2021 Rome Clay QF Djokovic 4-6, 7-5, 7-5
Paths to the final:
1st rd: bt Tennys Sandgren (USA) 6-2, 6-4, 6-2
2nd rd: bt Pablo Cuevas (URU) 6-3, 6-2, 6-4
3rd rd: bt Ricardas Berankis (LTU) 6-1, 6-4, 6-1
4th rd: bt Lorenzo Musetti (ITA) 6-7 (7/9), 6-7 (2/7), 6-1, 6-0, 4-0 - retired
QF: bt Matteo Berrettini (ITA x9) 6-3, 6-2, 6-7 (5/7), 7-5
SF: bt Rafael Nadal (ESP x3) 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7/4), 6-2
1st rd: bt Jeremy Chardy (FRA) 7-6 (8/6), 6-3, 6-1
2nd rd: bt Pedro Martinez (ESP) 6-3, 6-4, 6-3
3rd rd: bt John Isner (USA x31) 5-7, 6-3, 7-6 (7/3), 6-1
4th rd: bt Pablo Carreno Busta (ESP x12) 6-3, 6-2, 7-5
QF: bt Daniil Medvedev (RUS x2) 6-3, 7-6 (7/3), 7-5
SF: bt Alexander Zverev (GER x6) 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 4-6, 6-3