Djokovic achieves a historic milestone by becoming the first male player to secure 23 Grand Slam singles titles, emerging victorious at Roland Garros
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By Smartencyclopedia *

Novak Djokovic, hailing from Serbia, has established a new record as the male player with the highest number of Grand Slam victories in history. Additionally, his triumph in the first two majors of the year positions him favorably for a potential 2023 Grand Slam.

Novak Djokovic expressed the significance of his 23rd men’s singles Grand Slam title at the French Open, attained through a 7-6(1) 6-3 7-5 victory over Casper Ruud from Norway.

The Serbian tennis player acknowledged that this victory held a special meaning as it was always the most challenging one to secure. With this achievement, Djokovic now holds the record for the most Grand Slam wins among male players and stands alone as the only player to have triumphed in each of the four major tournaments – the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, and US Open – at least three times.

Out of Novak Djokovic’s impressive tally of 23 Grand Slam victories, only three have been achieved at the French Open. His long-standing rival Rafael Nadal, who possesses 22 major titles, has been dominant on clay with an astounding 14 triumphs in Paris.

Djokovic’s success extends to 10 victories in Australia, three at the US Open, and seven at Wimbledon. Speaking to an enthusiastic crowd on Court Philippe-Chatrier, Djokovic acknowledged the significance of winning his 23rd Grand Slam in Paris, emphasizing that throughout his entire career, the French Open had been the most challenging tournament to conquer. Having reached the Paris final seven times, Djokovic expressed his gratitude for the passionate atmosphere both on and off the court.

Filled with emotions, he proudly hoisted the trophy aloft, expressing his appreciation for the exceptional ambiance and the opportunity to share this special moment of his career with the supportive crowd in the remarkable stadium.

At 36 years old, Novak Djokovic claimed the title at the tournament in the absence of Rafael Nadal. The Spanish player was unable to participate in the Grand Slam due to an injury and subsequent surgery that will keep him out for the remainder of the year.

Djokovic, who surpassed Nadal as the oldest champion in Paris after a challenging two weeks, has now secured a remarkable 21 consecutive victories in Grand Slam tournaments. In the previous year, he triumphed at Wimbledon, skipped the US Open, and emerged victorious in Australia in January, leading up to his latest success in Paris on Sunday.

Expressing his gratitude, Djokovic acknowledged the incredible feeling of winning 23 Grand Slam titles, considering himself fortunate in life. Reflecting on his journey, he emphasized that from the age of seven, he had dreamt of winning Wimbledon and becoming the world’s number one player. The Serbian tennis star firmly believed in his ability to shape his own destiny, a conviction that resonated with every fiber of his being.

With the season transitioning to grass and the upcoming Wimbledon tournament, where he will strive for an eighth title, Djokovic has the opportunity to further extend his lead in Grand Slam victories.

“He possesses this incredible software in his mind that he can activate when it comes to Grand Slam tournaments. The Grand Slam is a different level of competition compared to other events, and he effortlessly switches gears,” commented Goran Ivanisevic, coach of Novak Djokovic and former Wimbledon champion.

“He is simply unbelievable, and his movement on the court is like that of a cat. He is everywhere, like a ninja. It’s absolutely fascinating because you might think that winning 23 Grand Slam titles would be enough, but he continues to find motivation to aim for 24, maybe even 25. Who knows where it will end?”

On a momentous day at Court Philippe-Chatrier, Djokovic secured his 21st consecutive victory in a Grand Slam tournament. The start of this year’s clay season wasn’t smooth for the Serbian, as he failed to win any event before triumphing in Paris.

“When he came to this tournament, his confidence and form weren’t exceptional. However, I wasn’t worried. I always say that I don’t count the tournaments leading up to this one. The only tournament that truly matters is this,” stated Ivanisevic, who became Djokovic’s coach in 2019.

“The day we arrived here, he was already better, more motivated, and hungrier. Each day, he played better and better… and today, we concluded what we began in Monte Carlo. Now it’s time to cash the check.”

Djokovic, who only dropped two sets throughout the entire tournament, also defeated top seed Carlos Alcaraz in the semifinals, taking advantage of the Spaniard’s cramps that caused his game to collapse.

Winning the final on Sunday was no easy task, both for the player and his coach. Ivanisevic humorously described Djokovic as a demanding individual who can be quite challenging when things don’t go his way.

“He had us on a tight leash for three days. He’s not an easy person, let’s put it that way, especially when things aren’t going his way. But as a team, we’re here to support each other, both in good and tough times.”

“He tested us, pushed us to our limits. There were many things he did, but I can’t disclose all of them. However, we’re still here, alive and kicking. My heart is still intact. As an old man, I need to be careful with my heart,” Ivanisevic jokingly added, as he is 51 years old.

According to Djokovic’s coach, betting against him winning more major titles should come with a warning.

“Novak knows what he’s capable of. He waits for the opportunity, just as Andy Roddick once said, metaphorically speaking. First, he takes your legs, then he takes your soul, and finally, he buries you. It’s like attending a funeral, and you’re left saying goodbye. Thank you for coming.”

Djokovic fact box

inset3

Age: 36

Country: Serbia

ATP ranking: 3 (moves to No 1 Monday)

French Open seeding: 3

Grand Slam titles: 23 (Australian Open 2008, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2023; French Open 2016, 2021, 2023; Wimbledon 2011, 2014, 2015, 2018, 2019, 2021, 2022; US Open 2011, 2015, 2018)

 Early life

  • Began playing tennis at the age of four.
  • His father was a professional skier and wanted his son to follow in his footsteps or play professional soccer, but changed his mind when Djokovic excelled at tennis early on.

Career to date

  • In 2006, he won his first ATP tour title at Amersfoort in the Netherlands.
  • Made his Grand Slam debut as a qualifier at the 2005 Australian Open. Finished as the youngest player (18 years, five months) inside the top 100.
  • Reached his first Grand Slam final at the US Open in 2007, losing to Roger Federer.
  • Won his maiden Grand Slam title at the 2008 Australian Open – becoming the first Serbian man to win a singles major.
  • Led Serbia to their first Davis Cup title in December 2010.
  • Began 2011 by winning seven successive tournaments and did not lose until June, when Federer ended his 41-match winning streak in the French Open semifinals.
  • Secured the number one ranking in July 2011 by reaching the Wimbledon semifinals, then beat Rafa Nadal to clinch his first Wimbledon crown, his first title on grass.
  • Defeated Federer in the 2011 US Open semis then beat Nadal in the final to become the seventh man to win three Grand Slam titles in a year since tennis turned professional in 1968.
  • Won his third Australian Open title in 2012 by defeating Nadal in five hours and 53 minutes and began 2013 by beating Andy Murray to become the first man in the professional era to win three successive Australian Open titles.
  • Beat Federer in a five-set Wimbledon final in 2014.
  • Reached all four Grand Slam finals in 2015. Began the year by capturing a fifth Australian Open title.
  • Won third Wimbledon title by defeating Federer in the final. Beat Federer in US Open final, earning three Grand Slam titles in a year for a second time.
  • Beat Murray in the 2016 Australian Open final to win his 11th Grand Slam title.
  • Beat Murray again in the French Open final that year to win the clay court major on his 12th attempt. The win not only completed his Grand Slam collection, but he also became only the third man – after Don Budge and Rod Laver – to hold all four majors at the same time.
  • Retired in the 2017 Wimbledon quarterfinals and ended his season in July with a right elbow injury. Returned from a six-month injury absence at the 2018 Australian Open. Had elbow surgery following a last-16 exit.
  • Beat Kevin Anderson in the 2018 Wimbledon final to seal his 13th Grand Slam. Capped off the year by winning the US Open crown for the third time.
  • Defeated Nadal to claim his 15th major and seventh Australian Open title in 2019.
  • His 26-match winning streak in Grand Slams ended with a loss to Dominic Thiem in the French Open semis.
  • Came from two match points down to defeat Federer in the final and claim his fifth Wimbledon title. It was the first time a Wimbledon singles title was decided in a final set tiebreak, which was introduced at 12-12.
  • Failed to successfully defend his title at the US Open after retiring because of injury in the fourth round.
  • Helped Serbia win the inaugural ATP Cup in 2020 before triumphing at Melbourne Park for the eighth time.
  • With 2019 champion Nadal and Federer opting to skip the 2020 US Open, Djokovic was favourite to triumph but was defaulted in the fourth round after accidentally hitting a line judge in the throat with a ball. The disqualification ended his 26-0 winning run in 2020.
  • Lost to Nadal in straight sets in the final of the rescheduled 2020 French Open.
  • Beat Daniil Medvedev for a record-extending ninth Australian Open title in 2021.
  • Beat Stefanos Tsitsipas for his second French Open title and 19th Grand Slam crown, thus becoming the first man since tennis turned professional in 1968 to win all four majors at least twice.
  • Beat Matteo Berrettini in the Wimbledon final to win a 20th singles Grand Slam title.
  • His bid for a calendar-year Grand Slam in 2021 fell short after he lost to Medvedev in the US Open final.
  • Missed the Australian Open in 2022 after being deported from the country for not being vaccinated against Covid-19.
  • Beat Nick Kyrgios in the Wimbledon final to win his 21st Grand Slam title and fourth straight crown at the All England Club.
  • Missed the US Open in 2022 because he was unvaccinated against Covid-19.
  • Beat Tsitsipas in the 2023 Australian Open final for his 10th title in Melbourne, reclaiming the number one ranking and drawing level with Nadal’s record of 22 Grand Slam titles.
  • Was injured during the build-up to the French Open but peaked in Paris to win a record 23rd men’s Grand Slam and return to the top of the world rankings.

Source: With Agencies

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