History made – Djokovic wins Roland-Garros, becomes 23-time Grand Slam champion

Novak Djokovic beat Casper Ruud 7-6 (1), 6-3, 7-5 to win Roland-Garros – his 23rd Grand Slam crown

Novak Djokovic, Roland-Garros 2023 Novak Djokovic, Roland-Garros 2023 (AI /Reuters/Panoramic)

History is completed. Novak Djokovic has 23 Grand Slams – the most of any male player ever.

He is Roland-Garros’s oldest champion, at the age of 36 years and 20 days.

He is the first man to win each Grand Slam tournament at least three times (Margaret Court, Steffi Graf and Serena Williams have also all done it).

With his 21st consecutive Slam tournament match win, 7-6 (1), 6-3, 7-5 over Casper Ruud, he also returned to the world No 1 spot – dislodging Carlos Alcaraz, the 20-year-old he beat in the Roland-Garros semi-finals.

This match ended just as every other encounter between Ruud and Djokovic, with the Serbian winning in straight sets.

But the Norwegian had started brilliantly, sprinting to a 4-1 lead in the first set before Djokovic clawed it back. Ruud will be ruing the memory of a smash that would have been easier to get over the net than to slam into it.

And Djokovic continued to raise his level, breaking to love in the penultimate game and then holding his serve to finish the match, claim the title and once more write his name in the record books.

Djokovic threw himself to the ground after match point, spreadeagled in the clay, before getting to his feet to congratulate his opponent at the net. He raised his arms to the sky, and then crouched down with his head in his hands, overwhelmed by the occasion.

After receiving his trophy from French legend Yannick Noah, Djokovic said in French: “This tournament has been the hardest for me to win, I’m very emotional right now.”

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