French Open - Novak Djokovic roars back to down Stefanos Tsitsipas at Roland Garros and win 19th Grand Slam
Stefanos Tsitsipas could not have done much more in his valiant bid to win his first Grand Slam title, but instead it was Novak Djokovic who staged a quite brilliant recovery from two sets down to claim his 19th. The world number one produced another comeback of the kind for which he has become famous to win, 6-7 2-6 6-3 6-2 6-4, and he is now just one Slam behind Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
Highlights: Djokovic wins second Roland Garros title and 19th Slam against Tsitsipas
But even with the top seed two sets down, you would have had to have been a very brave individual to write off the Serb, who duly proceeded to stage yet another classic recovery to prevail 6-7(6) 2-6 6-3 6-2 6-4 as Tsitsipas faded in stark contrast to his opponent's incredible resurgence.
Djokovic is now just one Grand Slam title behind his great rivals, Roger Federer and Nadal, with his tally now at 19. Indeed, the 34-year-old will be the favourite to triumph at Wimbledon later this summer and equal the legendary duo's marks of 20.
There was a very scary moment midway through the opening set as Djokovic took a nasty tumble near to the net. His team and supporters would have had their hearts in their mouths as he fell trying to retrieve a drop shot from which zipped over at a tricky angle.
'Really nasty!' - Djokovic suffers very scary fall by board in final
Fortunately for Djokovic, as with Krejcikova the day before, he was unscathed besides a very stained shirt as he got up from the red clay and shook himself off. But there was an audible gasp from the spectators on Court Philippe Chatrier as the Serb fell to the ground with immediate fears for his ankles and knees as he tumbled very nastily.
Seemingly unrelated to that fall, Djokovic looked remarkably flat and devoid of energy for much of the opening two sets as Tsitsipas stormed into a commanding lead with ferocious serving and typically unbelievable athleticism.
But even after the 22-year-old claimed the second set to establish a dominant position in the match, the atmosphere inside Court Philippe Chatrier betrayed the fact that everyone appeared to sense and predict a Djokovic resurgence.
'Djokovic looks shattered' - Tsitsipas wins second set to close on history
Indeed, it arrived almost instantly at the start of the fourth set, and Tsitsipas was suddenly left looking rattled and, at times, resigned to the undeniable recovery powers of his amazingly driven opponent.
Djokovic dropped just five games in the fourth and fifth sets as he roared back into a position where, not only had he eroded Tsitsipas' advantage, but totally changed the whole momentum and feel of the match.
It was abundantly clear to everyone that the Serb was now the overwhelming favourite to power on and win the fifth and deciding set. To his credit, the Greek gave absolutely everything in resistance to this fact, but it still unfolded that way regardless as Djokovic clinched victory with his second match point.
'It's a dream, I knew I could do it' - Djokovic reacts to Roland Garros triumph
"It was an electric atmosphere" an overjoyed Djokovic said in his on-court interview. "I want to thank my coach and my physio, everyone who has been with me on this journey.
"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."
Prior to this tournament, the Belgrade star had only won the French Open once, back in 2016, which is both surprising given his overall tally of Grand Slam titles, but at the same time simply testament to Nadal's dominance in Paris.
But having usurped the 'King of Clay', for this year at least, on the Spaniard's favourite court, Djokovic has now moved to within just one major title of his great rivals with Wimbledon coming up very soon.
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