Djokovic gets Slam 19
PARIS — Talented and tenacious as they come, Novak Djokovic was not about to concede a thing after dropping the first two sets of the French Open final against his younger, fresher foe, Stefanos Tsitsipas.
Djokovic looked diminished and depleted at the outset Sunday. By the end, he was at his imperious best.
Aided by flawless serving down the stretch, the top-seeded Djokovic came all the way back to beat Tsitsipas 6-7 (6), 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 for his second championship at Roland Garros and 19th Grand Slam title overall.
“I don’t want to stop there,” said Djokovic, who spread his arms, then tapped his chest and crouched to touch the red clay at Court Philippe Chatrier after ending the match with a leaping volley.
As things stand, Djokovic is just one major trophy away from tying the men’s record of 20 career Grand Slams shared by Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer and will get his first chance to pull even with his rivals at Wimbledon, which starts in two weeks.
Djokovic became one of only three men — alongside Rod Laver and Roy Emerson — to have won each major tournament at least twice. And now, as the reigning champion at the Australian Open and French Open, Djokovic can set his sights on another rare achievement: He is halfway to joining Laver (1962 and 1969) and Don Budge (1938) as the only men with a calendar-year Grand Slam.
The 34-year-old Djokovic eliminated 13-time French Open champion Nadal — a challenge the Serb likened to scaling Mt. Everest — in a semifinal that lasted more than four hours Friday night.
That was only Nadal’s third career loss in 108 matches at the clay-court major tournament.
Djokovic also had defeated Nadal in the 2015 quarterfinals in Paris before losing that year’s final, and it appeared as if the same fate was waiting Sunday.
PARIS — Thinking of her late coach the whole time, Barbora Krejcikova went from unseeded player to Grand Slam champion at a French Open full of surprises.
Krejcikova beat 31st-seeded Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-1, 2-6, 6-4 in the final at Roland Garros on Saturday to win the title in just her fifth major tournament as a singles player.
“It’s big achievement that nobody really expected,” said Krejickova, a 25-year-old from the Czech Republic who never won a WTA title of any sort until last month. “Not even me.”
When it ended with Pavlyuchenkova’s backhand landing long on Krejcikova’s fourth match point, they met at the net for a hug. Then Krejcikova blew kisses, her eyes squeezed shut, in tribute to her former coach, Jana Novotna.