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Perseverance pays as Djokovic wins French Open men’s singles title

Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic with his trophy after winning the French Open men's singles tile in Paris on June 13, 2021. Photo: @rolandgarros

Paris, June 13 (MNN) Perseverance pays and nobody knows its better than world number one Novak Djokovic as he defeated Greek rival Stefanos Tsitsipas in the men’s singles on Sunday to bag the Coupe des Mousquetaires at the French Open, a record 19th Grand Slam title in his career.

In the process, the Serbian became the only men’s player to bag all four Grand Slams twice in his career in the open era.

The 34-year-old Serb’s Grand Slam tally of 19 is one short of Nadal and Roger Federer’s men’s record.

Novak Djokovic clawed back from two sets down, won the third and fourth to force the fifth clincher set against fifth seed Tsitsipas before finally emerging the winner 6-7(6), 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 and 6-4 in over four hours on Sunday at the Roland Garros final.

The World number one was in deep trouble in the beginning of the epic battle as 22-year-old Tsitsipas played near-flawless tennis, attacking at every opportunity in the first two sets to seize the moment in his very first major championship match.

However, Djokovic showed typical resilience to take the contest to the fifth set on Court Philippe-Chatrier after leveling the scores 6-7(6), 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 after three hours and 14 minutes.

Djokovic has come from two sets down five times, including earlier in this event against Lorenzo Musetti. But he has never done it in a major final.

Tsitsipas was the first Greek player to reach a Grand Slam final while it was Djokovic’s sixth French Open final clash.

In the semi-finals, fifth seed Djokovic defeated Spain’s Rafael Nadal — the 13-time champion – in their 58th career clash 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7/4), 6-2.

It was Nadal’s only third loss 108 matches in 16 years at the Roland Garros.

In the other semi-finals, Tsitsipas had defeated Germany’s Alexander Zverev in a bruising five-setter 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 4-6, 6-3.

The 22-year-old Greek held 2-5 record against Djokovic, apart from a 2-7 record against Nadal before this final.

With Sunday’s epic victory, Djokovic became the first lawn tennis player in the open era and only the third in history to win every major title twice.

Aussies Roy Emerson and Rod Laver are the only two other men in the sport who have won each Grand Slam twice.

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