Novak Djokovic won the Roland Garros 2021 by beating Stefanos Tsitsipas in 5 sets, getting his 19th Grand Slam title. And for the twenty-second time in history, the sixth since 1968 and the fifth in Paris, someone wins a Grand Slam final, making up two sets of delay, and this someone is just Nole.
Already forced to the fifth by Lorenzo Musetti in the third round, the Serbian champion comes out at a distance even against Stefanos Tsitsipas. Without a shadow of a doubt the best alternative to Nadal is precisely the Djokovic in this precise historical moment on the Paris clay-courts.
Between the third and fifth Tsitsipas actually does what he can: a little. Djokovic, who completely restores the hierarchies of experience, closes at 6-7 (6) 2-6 6-3 6-2 6-4 and becomes the second tennis player in history (after Roy Emerson and Rod Laver) to win at least twice all the tests of the Slam.
Djokovic returns to win Roland Garros after six years, obviously grabs the nineteenth Major and also consolidates the first position in the ranking. Among other things, he once again confirms himself as the strongest of the strongest.
Tsitsipas shows up at the most important of the appointments with a double fault. He faces 40-30, but lets himself be pinched on the right side in the next fifteen. The Greek talent cancels the first break point of the match with the straight serve scheme, but above all he saves himself with three consecutive aces since he offers Djokovic the second chance.
The Serbian, after an immaculate serving time, at 3-2 finds himself at 30-30 thanks to the contribution of Tsitsipas. Naive, on the evaluation of a very deep forehand, but above all hasty in the search for the winner out of the service.
Once again it is San Servizio to solve the problems. The Serbian - who slips near the post in an attempt to retrieve a short ball in the heart of the seventh game - begins to show the first cracks at 4-5. He misses a rather simple conclusion near the net at 15-15, completely loses his support at 30-30, saves himself and only inertia catches the break at the foot of the jeu decisif.
Over? Not at all. Djokovic serves for the set with rather modest results from the side of the pitch that he prefers less - due to the sun - but above all he loses the first four points during the jeu decisif. Tsitsipas does not disunite when, however, he finds himself on 5-6.
Rather. He takes a very complicated forehand out of his stomach and from 6-6 resists vigorously from the baseline. A double foul, a slap on the fly out of a handful of meters and bad coverage of the field. For Djokovic the 0-40 at the start of the second set is inevitable.
The Serbian champion, who cancels the first chance to break, completely loses control of the forehand at 15-40 and does not take advantage of a break situation in the immediately following game. Rather. Succubus from the baseline, without a real tactical plan at his disposal - and obviously conditioned by the fatigue accumulated in the two weeks in Paris - he leaves the serve on the road on a second occasion and fails in any way to close the gap.
Tsitsipas serves well, moves well, but above all he manages to produce play with the forehand. The Serbian, who tries to stay stuck to the score, buffers a situation of 30-30 during the second serving and retrieves a minimum of freshness.
Physical and mental. At the same time, a few steps from the finish line, Tsitsipas accuses a rather physiological decline. Yes, he cancels four chances for the 3-1, but on the fifth opportunity Serbia loses control of the backhand out of the service.
Called to consolidate the lead and to put a minimum of pressure, Djokovic is not wrong. Almost relieved of the scoring situation, Tsitsi lets go of his arm almost completely. He keeps on track (despite two double faults in the sixth game) and faces 15-30 in the seventh game thanks to two splendid winning solutions.
One forehand and one reverse. Djokovic, more lucid in his tactical choices, baptizes the left diagonal in the first case and gets out of trouble at 30-30 with a short surgical ball. The 5-2 is an almost logical consequence, as is the 6-3.
Even if he dirties the notebook with a double fault at 30-15. With the gasoline hand close to zero, Tsitsipas almost completely loses its explosiveness and lucidity. Djokovic, a character absolutely reluctant to defeat, eliminates unforced errors from the tactical project, does not allow reference points and above all taps with his backhand on the line to open the opposite diagonal.
The result? One domain. The Serbian champion, who always strengthens the advantage with a very high percentage of points with the first ball, closes at 6-2 and for the first time since 2004 brings a Parisian Grand Slam final to the fifth.
appears almost completely in service. Also because there are no alternatives to resist from the baseline. The Greek somehow manages to cancel a break point at the start, not to keep his serve in the next game. The tactical plan to make a point is absolutely without logic.
Djokovic - who secured the break thanks to a splendid solution in the backhand long line - simultaneously maintains his serve without particular difficulties and faces 15-40 even in the seventh game. He especially he raises the trajectories in an attempt not to offer angles and uses the short ball in a surgical way.
The point he builds on 4-3 15-0 in what turns out to be the epilogue is emblematic. Tsitsipas, who gives himself the chance to respond to stay in the match in the tenth game, snatches a fifteen thanks to the contribution of Djokovic (who jams near the net) and faces 30-30.
He cancels the first match point thanks to a splendid backhand solution in the line, but does not survive the grueling arm wrestling on the left diagonal on the first parity. Called to close, Djokovic follows the first and with two flawless flying conclusions he catches the success. Perhaps one of the most important of him in his career.