Novak Djokovic claimed the second Roland Garros crown in June, battling Rafael Nadal and Stefanos Tsitsipas for eight hours and 20 minutes en route to his 19th Major title. Novak came two sets to zero to the Greek in the final to forge a wonderful victory and secure the second leg of a potential Grand Slam on the schedule. Last October, Djokovic and Tsitsipas played another epic duel in Paris, with the Serb winning the semi-finals after nearly four hours. Novak beat Stefanos 6-3, 6-2, 5-7, 4-6, 6-1 en route to his 27th Major final. The Serbian recalled the match leading up to this year’s duel, calling it epic and praising the young Greek’s effort. Tsitsipas was there to fight in the first two sets last year, losing crucial points to fall behind and saving a match point at 4-5 in the third to extend the encounter. The Greek stole that set and seized the fourth after fending off ten of the 11 break opportunities, dominating Novak before running out of gas in the final set. Tsitsipas kept pace with Djokovic in the mid-range and in most of the extended exchanges, but lost ground in the shorter rallies of up to four strokes. Novak had eight breaks and gave up four times, starting again in set number five to cross the finish line first and stay on track for the title. Stefanos blew four break opportunities in the first game and suffered a single break to hand the set to Novak. The Serbian won two breaks in the second set and looked good to seal the deal in straight sets. Djokovic broke at 4-4 in the third set and served for the victory. Stefanos saved a match point in that 10th game and converted the 11th break opportunity to level the score at 5-5 and extend the battle.
Jensen praises Novak Djokovic
Former Roland Garros doubles champion Murphy Jensen recently made an appearance on Tennis Channel, where he analyzed Novak Djokovic’s two-handed backhand. Jensen explained that Djokovic has flawless technique on his backhand and pointed out that the Serb, like Roger Federer, always looks down while striking the ball. “Someone I like a lot, Novak Djokovic, just that shot (backhand) alone, has redefined the rules of engagement,” Jensen said in a video posted by Tennis Channel. According to Jensen, looking straight at the ball while hitting a shot increases the chances of mistiming it. “Here we go (as Djokovic makes contact with the ball) and we are now on the strings,” continued the American. “One key thing to look at is where are his eyes – they are down, very Roger Federer-like. Down on – do you think he’s looking at the ball? He is probably 12 to 18 inches in front of the ball at all times. Because if you are just watching the ball, you’re gonna be late on every shot.”