“He’s a Fighter”: Novak Djokovic Hails Stefanos Tsitsipas After Semifinal Win at French Open 2020

Published 10/10/2020, 8:20 AM EDT
Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – Serbia’s Novak Djokovic in action during his semi final match against Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes


World No.1 Novak Djokovic advanced to his 27th Grand Slam final and his fifth final at the French Open. Djokovic outlasted Stefanos Tsitsipas in an epic five-set semifinal and is a win away from lifting a record 18th Grand Slam title.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

The Serbian made a sluggish start to the first set but eventually won the opening two sets comfortably. Despite being a match point down at 5-4 in the third set, Tsitsipas pushed the match in the fourth set through some exquisite shot-making. Tsitsipas kept pursuing his dream of becoming the first Greek player to reach the final of a Grand Slam by taking the match to the deciding set.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

However, Djokovic proved to be too dominant in the fifth set and broke Tsitsipas’ serve multiple times to win the set 6-1. During the post-match conference, Djokovic applauded the fighting spirit of his opponent and acknowledged that Tsitsipas turned the match around after the opening two sets.

“He’s a fighter. He’s one of the best players in the world. Deservedly so. Obviously he was also fighting for his first Grand Slam final. There was a lot at stake for him. He was motivated to try to turn the match around, which he did very well,” said Djokovic.

Meanwhile, the No.1 seed revealed that Tsitsipas seemed physically exhausted in the deciding last and he leveraged the situation by wrapping up the match quickly. Djokovic improved his head-to-head record against Tsitsipas to 4-2.

“In the end I think he ran out of gas. That’s when I stepped it up, used my opportunities when they were presented in the fifth, and closed out the match in a great fashion,” remarked Djokovic during the interview.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Novak Djokovic faces the ultimate challenge in the final

Djokovic will face his biggest adversary and also the 12-time Roland Garros champion, Rafael Nadal, in the final. Nadal thrashed the Argentine Diego Schwartzman in straight sets to reach his 13th final at the French Open.

Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – Spain’s Rafael Nadal celebrates during his semi final match against Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

The Nadal- Djokovic rivalry is arguably the most intense in the sport’s history, and the duo will square off against each other for the 56th time. Djokovic leads the head-to-head 29-26 but Nadal has a massive 17-7 lead in their clay court encounters.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

The duo has faced off twice in the Roland Garros final (2012 and 2014), with Nadal winning both the battles. The stakes will be high as both players are eyeing records. Nadal could equal Roger Federer‘s record of winning 20 Grand Slam titles whereas Djokovic could become the first man in the Open Era to win each Grand Slam twice.

Enjoyed reading this article? Download our exclusive app to get 24x7 coverage, latest memes and social media banter. Click here to download.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

ADVERTISEMENT

Kshitij Tayal

515 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.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT