Novak Djokovic fought back from a lost position in the final of Roland Garros on Sunday and crowned himself the winner in the game against Stefanos Tsitsipas. It turned out to be a very emotional day for the Greek, who had just lost his grandmother.
The Serbian number 1 in the world made up for a two-set deficit and came out on top after a captivating duel of more than four hours. That was barely two days after beating the almost unbeatable Rafael Nadal on clay.
“I played against two great champions in less than 48 hours. Physically and mentally it has been very difficult for me the past two or three days,” said Djokovic. “Even when I was 0-2 behind, I managed to stay on track mentally. This is another dream come true. I am very proud, very happy. I would like to continue!”
Djokovic’s counter now stands at nineteen grand slam titles, barely one less than record holders Nadal and Roger Federer. He is also the first man in Open Era to have won every grand slam at least twice.
Drama for Tsitsipas
Stefanos Tsitsipas looked on the Court Philippe Chatrier on his way to a first grand slam title, but saw that dream shatter. After the final, the 22-year-old Greek had praise for his opponent.
“It’s not easy. It was a big fight. I did my best, it was my first final. Novak has shown us in recent years what a great champion he is. Hopefully one day I can achieve half of what he has achieved,” said the world’s number five.
“When he was 0-2 behind, he left the court. I don’t know what happened but after that he was a different player. He played much better. Good for him, he did a great job,” Tsitsipas continued. “Despite my loss today, I am confident in my game. I don’t want to sell myself short. There’s no reason why I can’t hold the trophy one day.”
Afterwards it turned out that the Greek was fighting so hard for the victory in Paris for a good reason. Five minutes before he was due to hit the road, he learned that his grandmother had passed away.
“Life is not about winning or losing,” said Tsitsipas. “It’s about enjoying every moment, whether it’s together or alone. Living a meaningful life, without misery. Taking trophies and celebrating victory is one thing, but not everything. Five minutes before I stepped onto the tennis court, my dear grandmother lost her battle with life. A wise woman who believed in life and who could not be compared to anyone else in her generosity. It’s so important to have more people like her in this world. Because they make you come alive. They make you dream. I wanted to say that, whatever the circumstances. This was for her. Thanks.”