Third French Open victory gives Djokovic a record 23rd Grand Slam title

With his third French Open victory on Sunday, Novak Djokovic set a new record for most Grand Slam victories and furthered his claim to the title of greatest player of all time.

The 36-year-old Serb broke the tie of 22 Slams he shared with his longtime rival Rafael Nadal by defeating Casper Ruud of Norway 7-6 (7/1), 6-3, and 7-5.

His third victory in Paris after victories in 2016 and 2021 will be added to his ten Australian Open victories, seven Wimbledon victories, and three US Open victories.

As the first person to have at least three victories in each of the four major tournaments, Djokovic is once again halfway to completing the first calendar Grand Slam since Rod Laver in 1969.

In women’s tennis, only Margaret Court and Serena Williams have amassed 23 Grand Slam victories. At Wimbledon the following month, Court will now be aiming for the all-time record of 24.

There are little indications that Djokovic is slowing down. He has already won the French Open at the oldest age ever, yet 11 of his Slam titles have come after he turned 30.

He will recover the top spot on Monday to begin the 388th week of his career.

It’s safe to say that celebrities from the world of sports came out on Sunday.

Football sensations Kylian Mbappe and Zlatan Ibrahimovic sat side by side in the VIP section, which also housed former world heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson, a regular this weekend, while NFL veteran Tom Brady watched from the Djokovic box.

Djokovic, who was competing in his seventh French Open final, had a 4-0 career advantage over Ruud and had never dropped a set.

The Norwegian, who is ranked fourth, though, was the more poised of the two at first, charging out to a 2-0 lead after Djokovic missed an overhead.

Before Djokovic reclaimed the lead in the seventh game when his opponent crushed an easy smash into the net with an open court begging, Ruud, Nadal’s runner-up in 2022, stretched to 3-0 and 4-1.

The lung-busting 28-shot rally ended with it.

In the ninth game, while chasing down a drive from Ruud, Djokovic dropped on the red clay and squandered a break point.

On a heavy, muggy afternoon in the French capital, he exploded in rage, accusing umpire Damien Dumusois of hurrying the players during changeovers.

He then blazed through the tiebreak after becoming fired up, securing the opening point with a running forehand.

It is significant that Djokovic had not made a single unforced error in the 55 points that were played in that tiebreak, which was his sixth at the French Open.

Ruud, who also lost the 2022 US Open final to Carlos Alcaraz, appeared exhausted despite being 12 years Djokovic’s junior.

Despite Ruud surviving two set opportunities in the eighth game, Djokovic broke for 2-0 in the second set and got one step closer to realizing his dream.

In the third game of the third set, Ruud saved a break point before Djokovic received a warning for pausing too long between points.

He didn’t, however, lose his composure.

At 6-5, Djokovic broke for a pair and cemented his place in history when Ruud missed the mark.

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