Novak Djokovic won the French Open title after a thrilling match against Stefanos Tsitsipas, keeping tennis fans on the edge of their seat all the way through the end.
Djokovic, ranked No. 1 by the Association of Tennis Professionals going into the tournament, lost last year’s French Open against Rafael Nadal. He spoke to cameras in French on the court following his victory, calling his 19th Grand Slam “a dream.”
Djokovic came back after dropping the first two sets to beat Tsitsipas 6-7 (6), 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 at Roland Garros.
“The atmosphere and ambience was truly electric,” Djokovic said. He continued on to thank his family and his team for all their support.
“I think nine hours of tennis in less than 48 hours against two grand champions … it was not easy, physically, mentally,” he said. “It was very, very difficult for me.”
Tsitsipas, a 22-year-old from Greece, was hungry for his first French Open title. Djokovic, however, went into the match seeking a Grand Slam win, hoping to get within one major title of Nadal and Roger Federer.
The 34-year-old Serbian tennis champion made a notable comeback against Tsitsipas, who was ranked No. 5, after losing the first few sets. Djokovic pushed through and rallied against his competitor, offering fans a gripping finale to the Grand Slam tournament.
Djokovic started their final set strong, with Tsitsipas making a series of mistakes that gave the older competitor an edge over him. Tsitsipas struggled to recover and seemed to beat himself up as the set continued.
Their ending set still offered drama as Tsitsipas put forth a final push that didn’t allow Djokovic even a moment’s rest or comfort.
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Doha Madani is a breaking news reporter for NBC News. Pronouns: she/her.