History was made on Sunday at the French Open. And history belonged to one Novak Djokovic who finally captured his first French Open to complete the Career Grand Slam. And he did it beating his good friend and longtime rival 3-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 in a mostly one-sided affair.
“It’s a thrilling moment,” said Djokovic. “One of the most beautiful I have had in my career. It’s incredibly flattering to know that Rod Laver is the last one that managed to do that. There are not many words that can describe it. It’s one of the ultimate challenges that you have as a tennis player. I’m very proud and very thrilled. It’s hard for me to reflect on what has happened before and what’s going to happen after. I’m just so overwhelmed with having this trophy next to me that I’m just trying to enjoy this moment.”
It wasn’t the best match nor the most entertaining they’ve played. But it had its moments.
“At points I did well,” Murray said in press. “Not necessarily the whole match. He did play extremely well and gave me very few errors. He started hitting the ball a bit close to the lines and I was dropping a bit far back behind the baseline. Against him, obviously if you’re letting the best players control points, that’s tough. I wasn’t able to dictate enough points after the beginning of the match.
“When you get here (the final), obviously you want to win. I didn’t do that today. Right now I’m very disappointed, but the tournament could have been quite different had I gone out in the first round.”
Murray, who came in winning his last 11 including a win over Djokovic in Rome, stormed out early, erasing an early break by breaking a nervy Djokovic twice to win the first set 6-3.
Djokovic looked out of sorts, arguing with the umpire a few times. But he couldn’t have played much worse at the start, and you knew he would get it going. And he did.
After saving an early break chance to start the second, Djokovic got into groove breaking Murray in his opening service game in the second set.
Once Djokovic got another break you could sense it was over. Novak had found his form and in the heavy conditions Murray couldn’t hit past him. He could no longer make Novak uncomfortable.
Djokovic ran away with set three as well then serving 5-2 in the fourth Djokovic felt the tension. Murray got on a little bit of a run, playing more freely as Djokovic tightened with the title in reach.
Murray got one break back but couldn’t get a second. Djokovic shook off a double fault on his first championship point to eventually win it on his third try.
“I entered the court quite prepared,” Djokovic said. “I started well in first game and then I dropped four straight games. Nerves kicked in. I needed a little bit of time to really find the right rhythm and start to play the way I intended, which happened in the beginning of the second and practically until 5-2 in the fourth set. It was flawless tennis. I really felt like I played on a high quality and putting a lot of pressure on Andy’s serves and just trying to hang in there.”
Borrowing with permission from Guga, Novak drew a heart in the sand and fell to the earth. The quest was over. Relief!
Djokovic becomes the 8th player all-time to win all four Grand Slams and he’s just the third man to win four straight after Don Budge and Rod Laver who did it twice in 1962 and 1969.
“This is Novak’s day,” Murray said on court. “Winning all four Grand Slams at once is a great achievement. This is something that is so rare in tennis. What he’s achieved the last 12 months is phenomenal. I’m proud to be part of it today.”
Not to be forgotten, Djokovic also now has 12 Grand Slam titles. He’s just 29 so Rafael Nadal and Pete Sampras who are at 14 are going to get past. And who knows who else? He’s the best.
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