Novak Djokovic performs in opposition to Sebastian Ofner throughout day 5 of the World Tennis League at Coca-Cola Area on Dec. 23, 2022 in Dubai.
Christopher Pike | Getty Pictures Sport | Getty Pictures
Novak Djokovic made clear for years that this was his purpose. What drove him. What impressed him. The most important titles from his sport’s largest levels had been Djokovic’s important goal and now he lastly stands alone — forward of Rafael Nadal, forward of Roger Federer, forward of each man who ever has swung a racket.
If Djokovic may wait this lengthy to carry this report, he definitely may await the half-hour or so it took to straighten out his strokes in the French Open ultimate. And so, after a little bit of a shaky begin in thick, humid air and beneath foreboding charcoal clouds Sunday, he imposed himself. The opponent at Court docket Philippe Chatrier, Casper Ruud, by no means actually stood a severe likelihood after that.
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Djokovic earned his males’s-record twenty third Grand Slam singles championship, breaking a tie with Nadal and shifting three in entrance of the retired Federer, with a 7-6 (1), 6-3, 7-5 victory over Ruud that actually was not doubtful for many of its 3 hours, 13 minutes.
Djokovic, a 36-year-old from Serbia, places this one alongside the French Open titles he earned in 2016 and 2021, making him the one man with a minimum of three from every main occasion. He has gained 10 trophies on the Australian Open, seven at Wimbledon and three on the U.S. Open.
Additionally price noting: Djokovic is once more midway to a calendar-year Grand Slam — profitable all 4 majors in a single season — one thing no man has achieved since Rod Laver in 1969. Djokovic got here near pulling off that feat in 2021, when he gained the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon and made all of it the best way to the title match on the U.S. Open earlier than shedding to Daniil Medvedev.
Djokovic will resume that pursuit at Wimbledon, which begins on the grass of the All England Membership on July 3.
He has now clutched the trophy at 11 of the final 20 Slams, a exceptional run made much more so when contemplating that he didn’t take part in two majors throughout that span as a result of he didn’t get vaccinated in opposition to COVID-19. Djokovic was deported from Australia in January 2021 earlier than the Australian Open, and he was not allowed to fly to the USA forward of final 12 months’s U.S. Open beneath a rule that has since been lifted.
Attending to 23 not solely units the mark for males, however it additionally lets Djokovic equal Serena Williams, who wrapped up her profession final 12 months, for essentially the most by anybody within the Open period, which started in 1968. Margaret Court docket gained a few of her all-time report of 24 Slam trophies within the novice period.
At 20 days previous his thirty sixth birthday, Djokovic is the oldest singles champion at Roland Garros, thought of essentially the most grueling of the majors due to the prolonged, grinding factors required by the purple clay, which is slower than the grass or laborious courts underfoot elsewhere.
Nadal’s twenty second main arrived in Paris two days after he turned 36. He has been sidelined since January by a hip harm and had arthroscopic surgical procedure on June 2.
As if all of that weren’t sufficient, Djokovic’s triumph on Sunday additionally means he’ll return to No. 1 within the ATP rankings on Monday, changing Carlos Alcaraz. Djokovic already has spent extra weeks on the high spot than any participant — man or lady — because the inception of computerized tennis rankings a half-century in the past.
It was Djokovic who eradicated Alcaraz within the semifinals on Thursday, sporting him down over two thrilling units till the 20-year-old Spaniard’s physique cramped up badly. Alcaraz continued to play, however the scores of the final two units of the four-set match informed the story: 6-1, 6-1.
This was the third Slam ultimate previously 5 occasions for Ruud, a 24-year-old from Norway, however he’s now 0-3. He misplaced to Nadal on the French Open a 12 months in the past and to Alcaraz on the U.S. Open final September.