© Reuters. Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – June 11, 2023 Serbia’s Novak Djokovic commemorates after winning the last versus Norway’s Casper Ruud REUTERS/Christian Hartmann
By Shrivathsa Sridhar
PARIS (Reuters) – An unstoppable Novak Djokovic https://www.reuters.com/sports/tennis/french-open-mens-songs-champion-novak-djokovic-2023-06-11/ roared to a record 23rd https://www.reuters.com/lifestyle/sports/novak-djokovics-run-22-grand-slam-titles-2023-01-29/ Grand Slam singles title at the French Open on Sunday to stand alone at the top of guys’s tennis with a 7-6(1) 6-3 7-5 triumph over 4th seed Casper Ruud in the last.
The 36-year-old Serbian drew level with Rafa Nadal on 22 by bagging the Australian Open crown in January and he leapfrogged the hurt King of Clay in his own yard to declare his 3rd Roland Garros https://www.reuters.com/sports/tennis/list-french-open-mens-singles-champions-2023-06-11/ title after accomplishments in 2016 and 2021.
On an historic day https://www.reuters.com/sports/tennis/record-breaking-djokovic-has-more-grand-slam-wins-him-coach-ivanisevic-2023-06-11/#:~:text=PARIS%2C%20June%2011%20(Reuters),guys’s%20singles%20Grand%20Slam%20title on Court Philippe Chatrier, Djokovic won his 21st successive Grand Slam competition match to end up being the only male to record each of the 4 majors – Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and U.S. Open – a minimum of 3 times.
“Obviously a Grand Slam is a Grand Slam,” stated Djokovic, who moved level with ladies’s terrific Serena Williams on 23 significant titles and sits one behind Margaret Court who has 24.
“The four biggest tournaments that we have in our sport. Every single player dreams of being on this stage and winning the trophy at least once in their career.
“I’m beyond lucky in my life to win it 23 times, it’s an unbelievable sensation.”
Djokovic’s latest Paris triumph – which, on statistics alone, settled the Greatest of All Time nL4N383081 (GOAT) debate – came in his seventh final at the venue and he entered Sunday’s match with a 2-4 win-loss record.
“It’s no coincidence that I won the 23rd Grand Slam here in Paris, due to the fact that this competition was truly in my whole profession the most difficult https://www.reuters.com/sports/tennis/french-open-toughest-win-making-record-paris-all-more-special-djokovic-2023-06-11/ to win.
“A lot of emotions here on this court, also off the court.”
Djokovic likewise eclipsed Nadal as the earliest champ in Paris after a difficult fortnight where he shook off a heated political row following his discuss Kosovo nL1N37S0R1 and saw off the obstacle of ailing front runner Carlos Alcaraz in the semi-finals.
“Many congrats on this amazing achievement…,” 14-times Roland Garros champ Nadal tweeted as congratulations https://www.reuters.com/sports/tennis/tennis-reaction-djokovic-winning-23rd-grand-slam-singles-title-2023-06-11/ gathered. “23 is a number that just a few years back was impossible to think about, and you made it!
“Enjoy it with your household and group.”
What turned into a one-sided final got off to a shaky start for the Serbian.
He struggled to find his range and rhythm early on and dropped his opening service game, as fourth seed Ruud made a solid start in his bid to grab a first victory over the third seed in his fifth attempt by blazing away to a 4-1 lead.
Ruud, runner-up https://www.reuters.com/sports/tennis/another-grand-slam-final-lost-ruud-hopes-he-won-respect-french-open-2023-06-11/#:~:text=PARIS%2C%20June%2011%20(Reuters),the%20respect%20of%20his%20peers to Nadal in Paris last year and Alcaraz at the U.S. Open, pegged Djokovic back with his monster forehands but missed an overhead shot at the net to allow his opponent to break back and eventually level at 4-4.
Soccer superstars Kylian Mbappe and Zlatan Ibrahimovic were among a host of celebrities in a packed stadium https://www.reuters.com/sports/tennis/please-take-your-seats-french-open-empty-stands-disappoint-again-2023-06-11/ that roared its approval when Ruud volleyed home a winner after producing a superb ‘tweener’.
Djokovic, who took a tumble earlier and was clearly feeling the heat and humidity at 5-6, ranted https://www.reuters.com/sports/tennis/no-rush-start-clock-changeover-djokovic-argues-with-umpire-2023-06-11/ at the umpire over what he perceived to be quick starts of the clock at changeovers but he regained composure to force a tiebreak that he dominated.
He broke early in the second set showing vintage form and started to put the squeeze on world number four Ruud, whose dreams of a maiden major appeared to fade fast as Djokovic doubled his advantage in the contest.
Djokovic served himself out of trouble to level at 4-4 and hit two aces to make it 5-5 in the third set before setting up three breakpoints with a fiery crosscourt winner and edging ahead with a backhand rocket.
Having got his nose in front, Djokovic closed out the win in another strong service game on his second championship point and dropped to the clay before soaking up the applause.
He continued his celebrations by climbing up to his players’ box and shared hugs with his family. He then sported a specially made jacket with the number 23 displayed on it, just like he did at Melbourne Park with 22.
Victory meant Djokovic has won the first two Grand Slams in a year for a third time after similar runs in 2016 and 2021.
“Another day, another record and another day you reword tennis history,” Ruud said, addressing a beaming Djokovic. “It’s hard to discuss how amazing it is, how great you are and what a motivation you are to individuals worldwide.
“This tastes best of them all, so congratulations. I’m happy that I’m the first one to congratulate you from the stage.”
Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei partnered China’s Wang Xinyu to the ladies’s doubles crown as the set outplayed 10th seeds Taylor Townsend and Leylah Fernandez 1-6 7-6(5) 6-1.