Years of waiting and heartbreak finally came to a close for Novak Djokovic, as he won the French Open title that had eluded him for so long.
Djokovic downed world No. 2 Andy Murray 3-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 in Sunday’s final.
Djokovic is now the eighth man in history to complete a career Grand Slam, and he joins Rod Laver and Don Budge as the only men to ever hold all four major titles at once.
Djokovic broke Murray at love to open the match, but Murray broke right back to even up the score. Murray then put up a decisive hold, finished off with an ace. He carried this momentum through the set to take an early lead, helped along by Djokovic’s 13 unforced errors.
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But the world No. 1 would not be denied in his quest for history. Djokovic turned up his aggressiveness and found a consistent rhythm, storming through the second set to win in just over 30 minutes. Murray, who opened the tournament with two grueling five-set matches, looked like he began to wear down mentally.
Murray held to open the third set, but Djokovic remained strong. He broke Murray twice and strung together 13 winners to place himself six games away from history.
Djokovic, playing in his fourth Roland Garros final, jumped out to a 5-2 lead in the fourth set and had the chance to serve for the title. But Djokovic, perhaps feeling the enormity of the moment, double-faulted and Murray hit a forehand winner to win the game. Murray then held to give Djokovic one more chance to serve at 5-4.
Djokovic’s nerves showed slightly again, as he double-faulted with a 40-15 lead and hit a baseline try out of play to give Murray more hope. The world No. 1 would at last write himself into the history books with a cross-court volley followed by a backhand try from Murray that smashed into the net.
Overcome with emotion of winning his first French Open title, Djokovic used his racquet to draw a heart onto the court and fell backward into it before tossing his racquet into the crowd and enlisting all the ball kids to help him give thanks to the crowd.
And, after two weeks of rain and overcast skies, the sun came shining down on Roland Garros.
Sunday’s win gave Djokovic his 12th Grand Slam title, tied for fourth on the all-time list. He also now boasts the longest Grand Slam match winning streak with 28 consecutive victories.
The next feat on Djokovic’s list is the calendar year Grand Slam. That attempt continues with the year's third major at Wimbledon, which begins on June 27.