Novac Djocovic has made history at Roland Garros. By winning his first French Open title and fourth consecutive major title, he has accomplished a feat last seen in 1969, reports Morocco World News. He is now the one of only three men to hold all four major titles at the same time, and the first since Rod Laver nearly half-a-century ago. This comes after 12 appearances in the tournament, his fourth in the final.
His absolute elation was evident as he grabbed a racket and carved a heart in the clay. When he was presented with the trophy, he held it high with eyes tightly shut, and then planted his lips firmly upon it as if it were a long lost love. The La Coupe des Mousquetaires, the trophy that had eluded him for so long, was finally in his hands, a trophy he earned by beating second-seed Andy Murray 3-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-4.
“It’s really a very special moment,” Djokovic said. “Perhaps the greatest moment of my career.” Djokovic can now set his sights on a calendar-year grand slam, being the first man since Jim Courier (1992) to get halfway there.
Since his defeat in the 2015 Paris final, he has been undefeated in 28 consecutive Grand Slam appearances since Wimbledon last year.
“This is something that is so rare in tennis,” said Andy Murray, “It’s going to take a long time for it to happen again.”
The 29-year-old Serbian has a total of 12 Grand Slam titles under his belt. Six Australian Open, three Wimbledon, two U.S. Open, and now a French Open. Only Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Pete Sampras have more with 17, 14, and 14 respectively. He is also one of only eight men with at least one championship at each major.
Of his 11 losses at Roland Garros, three came in the finals, being beaten by Nadal in 2012 and 2014, and by Stan Wawrinka in 2015. This year, Wawrinka was put out of the tournament by Murray in the semi-final and Nadal withdrew due to injury before the third round.
“He’s there, for sure — one of the best now,” said Marian Vajda, Djokovic’s co-coach with Boris Becker, “hard to say who’s the greatest.”
“Winning it, you know, I felt it,” said Djokovic, “I felt the tension and excitement. All the emotions. You name it.” The heart in clay was a repeat of the gesture made famous by Gustav Kuerten, a three time champion at Roland Garros. “He asked me (for) permission,” the former champion joked.
Djocovic went down 3-6 in the first set, making seven unforced errors off his forehand before Murray’s first, and argued with umpire Damien Dumusois for refusing to have a point replayed at 15-0 as Murray served for the first set. These errors he later attributed to “nerves.”
He came back strongly in the second set after having to defend against a break point in the opening game, taking it six games to one after Murray’s first serve percentage dropped and he lost the first three games.
Djokovic continued to control the match, wearing Murray down by chasing him all over the court with perfectly timed shots. It was “flawless tennis” said Djokovic.
Keeping up the pressure, he broke Murray’s serve in the first game of the fourth set, and then broke to love for 5-2. He seemed to lose concentration for a second and hashed his first serve for the title, but recomposed himself and ended victorious after a good three hour stint on the court.
[Photo by Christophe Ena/AP Images]