Djokovic takes the throne, solo

Serb captures record 23rd men's Grand Slam to pull away from rival Nadal

Novak Djokovic, finale, Roland-Garros 2023©Philippe Montigny / FFT
 - Reem Abulleil

He’s done it! Novak Djokovic has captured a 23rd Grand Slam title to stand alone at the top of the men’s all-time leaderboard of most majors won in tennis history.

No longer tied with long-time rival Rafael Nadal, who has 22, Djokovic has equalled Serena Williams’ Grand Slam tally and is now just one behind record-holder Margaret Court.

At 36 years and 20 days, Djokovic has become the oldest Roland-Garros men’s champion and is the first man in history to win each Grand Slam tournament at least three times.

Competing in his 34th career major final, Djokovic defeated the fourth-seeded Casper Ruud 7-6(1), 6-3, 7-5 to add a third Roland-Garros crown to his resume.

In front of a star-studded audience that included Tom Brady – who was in Djokovic’s box – Kylian Mbappe, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Hugh Grant and Olivier Giroud, the Serbian record-breaker picked up a fifth win over Ruud in as many meetings and ensured his return to the top of the world rankings.

Novak Djokovic, Roland-Garros 2023, final© Andre Ferreira/FFT

First set

Ruud held at love to start the match while Djokovic’s opening service game lasted over 10 minutes and saw the Norwegian break serve on this third opportunity en route to a 3-0 lead.

Djokovic struck back in game seven, breaking Ruud on a netted overhead from the No.4 seed (Djokovic had missed two of his own earlier in the match) to narrow his deficit to 3-4.

The Serb had to save a break point in the following game before holding to level the contest at 4-4.

Ruud stopped the bleeding after losing three games in a row, saving a break point before inching ahead 5-4.

After 73 minutes of play, the opening set fittingly went to a tiebreak, which Djokovic immediately started with a minibreak, thanks to a killer forehand winner on the run. He conceded just one point in the breaker to take a one-set lead in one hour and 21 minutes.

Novak Djokovic, Roland-Garros 2023, final© Philippe Montigny/FFT

Second set

Djokovic started the second set with a break and was soon up 3-0. That was all he needed to comfortably secure a two-set advantage on the two-hour 13-minute mark.

Third set

Ruud and Djokovic were neck and neck in the third but a crucial break in the 11th game gave the Serb the advantage he needed and he never looked back, cementing his name further in the history books.

Here's how the day unfolded in Paris...

6:23pm Djokovic wins RG 2023

And on his second match point, Djokovic has done it 7-6(1), 6-3, 7-5 in three hours 13 minutes!

6:20pm Djokovic to serve for the title

A crucial break in the 11th game puts Djokovic 6-5 in front and he will now serve for the championship.

5:24pm Djokovic takes the second

With a smooth down-the-line backhand winner, Djokovic scoops the second set for a 7-6(1), 6-3 lead against Ruud.

4:51pm Djokovic breaks

With the wind in his sails, Djokovic breaks Ruud in the Norwegian's first service game to build a 2-0 gap early on in the second set. Djokovic has now won 20 of the last 25 points.

4:32pm Djokovic takes opening set

After trailing 1-4 down in the set, Djokovic recovers, forces a tiebreak, and grabs the first set 7-6(1) in 1hr 21min against Ruud.

Tom Brady, Djokovic box, Roland-Garros 2023, final©Corinne Dubreuil / FFT

4:24pm Tiebreak time

Djokovic dug deep to get this match back on serve and the set has fittingly gone to a tiebreak after one hour and 13 minutes of play.

4:12pm Tweener alert

A sensational point from Ruud sees the Norwegian fire a tweener off a Djokovic lob before sprinting to the net and forcing a volley error from his opponent. 0-30 for Ruud on the Djokovic serve at 4*-5.

Casper Ruud, Roland-Garros 2023, final© Philippe Montigny/FFT

4:09pm Ruud inches ahead

After losing three games in a row from 4-1 up, Ruud stops the bleeding by saving a break point en route to a hold for 5-4. Djokovic took a tumble in that game, slipping on the clay, but thankfully he is fine.

Casper Ruud, finale, Roland-Garros 2023©Corinne Dubreuil / FFT

3:51pm Djokovic breaks back

40 minutes into this match and Djokovic claims his first break of the contest, and this time, it's Ruud who fumbles the overhead (Djokovic had already missed two of his own).

The Serb will now serve at 3-4 with a chance to draw level in this opening set.

Tom Brady in Djokovic's box

Djokovic is getting some top-quality support from his box, which includes the one and only Tom Brady.

3:34pm Ruud consolidates

The fourth-seeded Ruud manages to consolidate his break advantage and goes up 3-0.

Look who else is here! Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who is a good friend of Djokovic's stops to greet Kylian Mbappe in the stands.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Kylian Mbappe, Roland-Garros 2023, men's final© Corinne Dubreuil/FFT

3:25pm Ruud breaks

Following a love hold from Ruud to start the match, Djokovic gets broken on a terrible overhead miss to hand the Norwegian a 2-0 advantage.

It was a 10+ minute game that had five deuces and it saw Ruud inch ahead in the end on his third opportunity.

Novak Djokovic, Roland-Garros 2023, final© Corinne Dubreuil/FFT

Players warming up

The 36-year-old Djokovic would become the oldest Roland-Garros men's singles champion with a victory today. The Serb is 10-2 in Slam finals in his 30s, and 12-9 in his 20s.

Kylian Mbappe, Roland-Garros 2023, men's final© Corinne Dubreuil/FFT

Star-studded audience in the house

Court Philippe-Chatrier is already full and there is some serious star power in the stands.

We've already spotted PSG and France hero Kylian Mbappe and Hollywood star Hugh Grant.


This is a fifth career meeting between Djokovic and Ruud, with the Serb owning a 4-0 head-to-head record against the Norwegian, most recently defeating him in the championship match at the ATP Finals in Turn last November.

Djokovic is 8-0 in sets in previous clashes with Ruud.

2:30pm Ruud stands between Djokovic and history

World No.3 Novak Djokovic is chasing a men's all-time record-extending 23rd Grand Slam title today when he takes on No.4 seed Casper Ruud in the final.

Victory for Djokovic would also see him return to the No.1 spot and become the first man in history to win each Grand Slam tournament at least three times.

Ruud, the runner-up in Paris last year, is contesting his third major final from his last five Grand Slam events and is bidding for a maiden champion's trophy at the majors.

Here's some preview material to peruse ahead of final kick-off...