Novak Djokovic has completed his career grand slam by winning the French Open title, claiming the only major trophy that has eluded even his numerous accolades.
The Serb played against arch-rival Andy Murray in the final. Starting off shakily, he mustered an astounding comeback to overpower the Scot in three hours by 3-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-4. It was also his 24th win against Murray in 34th matches.
Djokovic’s control and power may hint at more to come in the approaching Olympics and two remaining grand slams this year. He also celebrates the milestone of becoming the eighth man to win four consecutive grand slams, and is now poised to challenge Australian legend Rod Laver’s 1969 calendar slam record.
But the World No.1 also experienced a fair number of setbacks in France. Nine-time winner Rafael Nadal had denied him twice in the grand final here, while Stan Wawrinka’s muscular onslaught felled him to the runners-up trophy last year, with which he accepted in tears as the French crowd gave him an appropriate standing ovation.
“It’s really a very special moment,” Djokovic said, “perhaps the greatest moment of my career.”
“I felt that kind of support and love from the people around that allowed me to be sitting here with the trophy. That’s for sure,” he added. “That kind of support was very well present at the stadium today.”
In the women’s singles, it was an upset as Serena Williams was denied another Grand Slam this calendar year after Garbine Muguruza won her first grand slam after finishing the grand final by 7-5, 6-4.
The 22-year-old could very well consider the win as making amends for conceding Wimbledon to Williams last year, as she becomes Spain’s first female champion at Roland Garros since Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario in 1998.
“I am so, so excited,” said Muguruza, who looked shocked when her lob was called in at the end of the match. “This is the tournament in Spain, being on clay, Rafa is the champion and to win here is the best.”
“I can’t explain with words what this day means to me,” she added. “You work all your life to get here. I grew up on clay so for Spain and for me this is just amazing.”
Despite losing the opportunity to move alongside Steffi Graf on the Open era record of 22 grand slams, Serena Williams has only suffered her sixth defeat in 27 Grand Slam finals since 1999. Though disappointed, she was generous.
“I think she has a bright future, obviously,” Williams said. “She knows how to play on the big stage and clearly she knows how to win. She hits the ball incredibly hard and just goes for broke on every shot and it works for her.”