Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Djokovic makes history with 19th Grand Slam title victory



Djokovic makes history with 19th Grand Slam title victory

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Novak Djokovic poses with The Mousquetaires Cup (The Musketeers) after winning against Stefanos Tsitsipas at the end of their men’s final tennis match on Sunday. AFP

Djokovic makes history with 19th Grand Slam title victory

Novak Djokovic claimed a 19th Grand Slam title and became the first man in 52 years to win all four majors twice when he came from two sets down to beat Stefanos Tsitsipas in a gripping French Open final on Sunday.

The world No1 triumphed 6-7 (6/8), 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 in four hours and 11 minutes over the Greek 22-year-old who was playing in his first Slam final.

Djokovic is now just one major away from equalling the all-time record of 20, jointly held by Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

It was a second French Open crown for Djokovic after his 2016 victory and adds to his nine Australian Opens, five Wimbledon titles and three at the US Open.

The 34-year-old is the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to win all four Slams on multiple occasions and just the third in history.

Djokovic had also spent more than four hours on court on June 11 to knock out defending champion Nadal.

“It was an electric atmosphere. I want to thank everyone who has been with me on this journey,” said Djokovic.

“I have played almost nine hours over the last 48 hours against two great champions, it was really tough physically over the last three days, but I trusted in my capabilities and knew I could do it.”

Djokovic is the first man ever to win a Slam title by twice coming back from two sets down following his last-16 battle with Italian teenager Lorenzo Musetti.

Djokovic now has 84 career titles in total while the win on June 13 pushed him to the brink of $150 million in prize money.

Next on the list is an assault on a calendar Grand Slam, only achieved in the men’s game by Don Budge in 1937 and Laver in 1962 and 1969, by defending his Wimbledon crown and then winning a fourth US Open.

On top of that, Djokovic also wants the Olympic gold medal in Tokyo to complete the first ever Golden Grand Slam by a male player.

“His goal and our goal is to win the Olympics and then win the Grand Slam,” said coach Marian Vajda.

Tsitsipas, meanwhile, said he was inspired to follow in Djokovic’s footsteps.

“I had good run here so I am happy with myself,” said Tsitsipas.

“Novak has shown what a great champion he is and I hope one day to have half of what he has achieved.

“I tried my best. I had a good run and I’m happy with myself.”

Tsitsipas survived a nervy opening service game, having to save two break points.

Djokovic, by contrast, didn’t concede a point in his first three service games.

But suddenly he faced a set point in the 10th game courtesy of an ugly shank but saved it after a 26-shot rally.

Fired-up Djokovic

Fired up by a time violation, Djokovic broke for the first time for a 6-5 lead but was unable to serve out the opener as a series of razor-sharp returns put Tsitsipas back on level terms.

In a dramatic tiebreaker, Tsitsipas saw 4/0 and 5/2 leads disappear.

He had to save a set point before claiming the opener after 70 minutes when Djokovic fired a forehand wide.

Dropping the opening set at this year’s Roland-Garros was familiar territory for Djokovic.

He had to recover from two sets down to beat Musetti and lost the opener against 13-time champion Nadal on June 11.

Tsitsipas, 12 years the world No1’s junior, broke again in the first game of the second set as the 2016 champion looked increasingly weary in the 30-degree afternoon heat.

The Greek edged ahead 5-2 and pocketed the second set with his eighth ace of the contest.

But the top seed wasn’t finished, breaking in the fourth game of the third set to cut the deficit.

Tsitsipas then called the trainer to treat a back problem which also gave him the opportunity to change the clay-covered shirt he’d worn since a first set tumble.

Thirty minutes later, it was two sets apiece after Djokovic secured a double break.

As the shadows swept across Court Philippe Chatrier, Tsitsipas’ mood also darkened as he slipped 3-1 down in the decider.

As the clock ticked past four hours, he fought off two more break points in the seventh game but Djokovic was not to be denied his latest slice of history, taking the glory on his second championship point.

MOST VIEWED

  • PM imposes nationwide Covid restrictions, curfew over Delta scare

    Prime Minister Hun Sen late on July 28 instructed the municipal and provincial authorities nationwide to strictly enforce Covid-19 measures including curfew for two weeks from July 29 midnight through August 12 to stem the new coronavirus Delta variant. The instruction came shortly after he issued a directive

  • Two luxury hotels latest quarantine options for inbound travellers

    The Inter-Ministerial Committee to Combat Covid-19 has designated two luxury hotels as alternative quarantine options for travellers who wish to enter Cambodia through Phnom Penh International Airport – Sokha Phnom Penh Hotel & Residence and the Courtyard by Marriott Phnom Penh. In a notice detailing guidelines issued

  • Provinces on Thai borders put in lockdown amid Delta fears

    The government has decided to place several border provinces in lockdown for two weeks in a bid to prevent the new coronavirus Delta variant spreading further into community. According a directive signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen late on July 28, the provinces include Koh Kong,

  • China denies Mekong hacking

    As the US and its allies joined hands last week to expose what they allege to be China’s Ministry of State Security’s malicious cyber activities around the world, the attention also turned to Cambodia with the US Department of Justice claiming that four

  • US' Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccines arrive

    The first batch of 455,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine donated by the US touched down in Phnom Penh on the morning of July 30. They are part of the total 1,060,100 doses the US has pledged to provide to Cambodia through the World Health Organisation-led (

  • Governor: Covid subsides in capital

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng said the Covid-19 situation in the capital’s 14 districts has eased, with only two districts still recording a high number of infections. “Transmission cases in all districts are dropping, though they are relatively higher Meanchey and Por Sen Chey.