Novak Djokovic showcased his exceptional skills once again as he overcame a challenging start to secure a historic 23rd Grand Slam title by defeating Casper Ruud in the French Open final.
Despite a sluggish beginning, the 36-year-old Serbian’s remarkable performance in the first-set tie-break laid the foundation for his 7-6 (7-1), 6-3, 7-5 triumph.
This win propels Djokovic ahead of Rafael Nadal in the race for the most men’s Grand Slam titles, establishing him as the new record holder.
In addition, he becomes the first male player to secure each of the four major titles at least three times.
By triumphing on the clay courts of Paris, Djokovic now shares the same number of Grand Slam titles as Serena Williams, with only Margaret Court’s 24 majors remaining ahead of him.
Expressing his gratitude, Djokovic remarked, “I consider myself extremely fortunate to have won 23 Grand Slams in my life; it is truly incredible.”
He continued, “As a seven-year-old, I dreamed of winning Wimbledon and becoming the world number one. I am filled with gratitude and blessed to be standing here. I believe in the power to shape one’s own destiny. To all the young people out there, if you aspire to a better future, you have the ability to create it.”
Shortly after Djokovic’s victory, Nadal paid tribute to his long-standing rival, writing, “Congratulations on this remarkable achievement. A few years ago, the idea of reaching 23 seemed impossible, but you made it.”
Djokovic will have the opportunity to match Margaret Court’s record at Wimbledon next month, a tournament where he has previously triumphed on seven occasions. He will also be aiming to equal Roger Federer’s record tally of men’s titles.
Upon securing the championship point, Djokovic fell flat on his back in celebration, while receiving warm embraces from his opponent and his support box, including coach Goran Ivanisevic, wife Jelena, children, parents Dijana and Srdjan, and NFL superstar Tom Brady.
The victory will also propel Djokovic back to the top of the world rankings.
Runner-up Casper Ruud, the fourth seed, congratulated Djokovic on his “another day, another record” achievement. Addressing Djokovic, Ruud added, “It is yet another day where you rewrite tennis history. It is difficult to put into words your greatness and the inspiration you provide.”