“Difficult Physically and Mentally”: Novak Djokovic on His Journey To Win 19th Grand Slam at French Open 2021

Published 06/13/2021, 2:03 PM EDT
Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – June 13, 2021 Serbia’s Novak Djokovic celebrates with the trophy after winning the French Open against Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier


Two sets to love down. World No.1 Novak Djokovic stared at the brink of defeat. However, Djokovic yet again displayed his supreme level of fitness and mental fortitude to defeat Stefanos Tsitsipas in an extraordinary five-set final at the 2021 French Open.

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With the victory, Djokovic became the first man in the Open Era to win each Grand Slam title at least twice. The thrilling encounter strengthened the stranglehold of the Big-3, refusing to give in to the rising challenge of the Gen-Next.

Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – June 13, 2021 Serbia’s Novak Djokovic celebrates winning the final against Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

Novak Djokovic creates history

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Clinching a record 19th Grand Slam title has been the toughest challenge of Djokovic’s career. Why so? Just two days back, the Serbian achieved the unthinkable, ended Rafael Nadal‘s dominance at the French Open by defeating the thirteen-time champion in an epic semifinal, a feat he described akin to scaling Mount Everest.

After winning the marathon final, going over the four-hour mark, Djokovic expressed gratitude towards his entire team. During the on-court interview, World No.1 mentioned his body having suffered an enormous physical and mental toll over the last three days of jaw-dropping tennis.

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“Thank you for your presence today. I think to my team, my box, my family, my physio, everyone. It’s difficult to win title vs. great players. Three days so difficult physically and mentally,” said Djokovic.

Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – June 13, 2021 Serbia’s Novak Djokovic celebrates winning the final against Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

Tsitsipas, who was looking to become the first Greek player to win a Grand Slam, would have to wait to achieve his dream. Despite winning the opening two sets, the 22-year-old tasted a heartbreaking defeat, however, with Djokovic at the other end, he knew the monumental task at hand.

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Now the 19-time Grand Slam champion is just a title short of equaling his arch-rivals Nadal and Roger Federer. With the Wimbledon Championships just two weeks away, Djokovic, a five-time champion would aim to aim to close the gap.

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Kshitij Tayal

423 articles

Kshitij Tayal is a tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having played district-level tennis competitions, Kshitij is also a tenured journalist of the sport with over four years of experience. At EssentiallySports, he pens down some thought-provoking pieces on players and tournaments across the ATP and WTA.

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