French Open 2021: Novak Djokovic mounts comeback for 19th Grand Slam title

·3 min read

Novak Djokovic came back from two sets down to win his second French Open title and 19th overall Grand Slam on Sunday in Paris.

Djokovic, the established veteran, defeated up-and-coming Greek star Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-7(6), 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4.

Djokovic is now the third male player to win at least two times at each of the four Grand Slam tournaments and the first in the Open Era. He won his only previous French Open in 2016.

The Serbian is one major away from Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer's all-time Grand Slam record. They are tied at 20. He's also on pace for a calendar Grand Slam, having won the Australian Open in February. Wimbledon begins later in the month.

Tsitsipas is the first Greek player to reach a Grand Slam final.

Final set decides French Open

Djokovic saved a drop shot and crossed it just inside the side line to go up 30-15. They evened up at each score until Djokovic took a lucky break and broke serve for a 2-1 set advantage.

Tsitsipas, 22, misplayed some late shots, which aided Djokovic. He did battle back in the seventh game and held his serve to trail, 4-3. It was more fight than he'd shown in previous games as mental lapses again took hold. He held serve again to make it 5-4, giving Djokovic serve for the win.

Djokovic looked bothered early in the final set by the sun, which was shining on half the court. The other half was shaded dark because of the roof.

Tsitsipas delivered 14 aces to Djokovic's five and prevailed in winners, 61-56, but the veteran found his best shots at the most crucial times.

Tsitsipas takes early two-set lead

Tsitsipas took the early two-set lead in his first Grand Slam final. His aggression set Djokovic back thought they both held serve until the final games of the first set. Djokovic broke him for the first time in the 11th game, but it went to a tiebreak.

Tsitsipas won a quick three points and survived on a long rally to go up 4-0. He gave up that lead, but earned the win by taking Djokovic off balance.

The 22-year-old kept it up in the second set and broke Djokovic in the first game of the second set. It helped that Djokovic made uncharacteristic unforced errors to help Tsitsipas get ahead.

Tsitsipas closed the opening two-set lead with a 121-mph ace Djokovic couldn't get to despite a lunge in that direction. At 95 minutes in it appeared Djokovic's day was about done.

Djokovic, 34, finally broke Tsitsipas' serve in the third set. He went up 4-1 and turned it into a 6-3 win behind lapses on the other side of the net. Djokovic took a quick 6-2 win in the fourth set before the winner-take-all final set.

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