History for Djokovic

World No.1 downs Tsitsipas to become first man in Open Era to win each major at least twice

© Nicolas Gouhier/FFT
 - Reem Abulleil

Novak Djokovic became the first man in the Open Era - and just the third man history - to win each of the four Grand Slam titles at least twice, thanks to a battling 6-7(6), 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 victory over fifth-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas at Roland-Garros on Sunday.

Djokovic rallied back from two sets down for the second time this fortnight - and sixth time in his career - to overcome the 22-year-old Tsitsipas and secure a second Roland-Garros crown, five years after he captured his first.

The world No.1 has clinched a 19th major title, which puts him just one adrift of the men's all-time record-holders Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, who currently top the leaderboard with 20 each.

Sunday was a rematch of last year's Roland-Garros semi-final, which was also won by Djokovic in five sets over the Greek.

First set

After fending off two break points in his opening service game, Tsitsipas stepped up and found his groove. Djokovic was impeccable on serve early on, and didn't drop a point on serve through the first seven games of the contest, although he did take a tumble while trying to run down a drop shot in game seven.

Tsitsipas found an opening in the 10th game, getting his first break point on a mis-hit from Djokovic, but the Serb saved the set point to hold for 5-5. It was the top seed who broke first, but he couldn't serve out the set as Tsitsipas struck right back to force a tiebreak.

The 22-year-old opened up a 4-0 gap in the breaker but Djokovic rallied and held set point at 6-5 only for Tsitsipas to fire a winner that earned an applause from the world No.1. The young Greek wrapped up the set two points later on the 68-minute mark.

Key stats: Tsitsipas hit 18 winners and 10 unforced errors in that set. 6/6 at the net. Djokovic won 85% of his first-serve points.

Stefanos Tsitsipas Novak Djokovic Roland-Garros 2021©Corinne Dubreuil / FFT

Second set

Tsitsipas broke Djokovic in the first game of the second instalment, and took down the Serb's serve once again for a 5-2 advantage. The world No.5 appeared to be the fresher and fitter competitor on the court and he grabbed a two-set lead with his eighth ace of the match.

Key stats: Tsitsipas won 87% of his first-serve points, was 2/5 on break points and hit nine winners and just two unforced errors.

Stefanos Tsitsipas, Roland Garros 2021, final© Corinne Dubreuil/FFT

Third set

Djokovic went off court for a toilet break between sets and after an 11-minute fourth game, he finally managed to take down the Tsitsipas serve en route to a 4-1 lead. That sole break was all he needed to clinch the third set and stay alive in the final.

Key stats: Djokovic won 73% (8/11) of his second-serve points and hit 11 winners against four unforced errors.

Novak Djokovic, Roland-Garros 2021, final© Nicolas Gouhier/FFT

Fourth set

Tsitsipas received treatment for what seemed to be a lower back issue between sets then dropped serve twice early in the fourth to trail 0-4. Djokovic scooped the 33-minute set with a backhand down-the-line winner to force a deciding set for the second time this tournament, having pulled off a comeback against Lorenzo Musetti in the fourth round from two sets down.

Key stats: Djokovic dropped just three points on serve throughout the fourth set.

Novak Djokovic, Roland Garros 2021, final©Cédric Lecocq/FFT

Fifth set

Tsitsipas dug deep to save a break point in his first service game but he wasn't as lucky two games later as Djokovic broke on his way to a 3-1 lead, the momentum firmly on his side. The Serb wrapped up a historic comeback in four hours and 11 minutes.