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French Open final LIVE: Novak Djokovic makes tennis history with record-breaking grand slam win

Djokovic becomes the first man to reach 23 grand slam titles after beating Casper Ruud in straight sets in the Roland Garros final

Jamie Braidwood
Sunday 11 June 2023 19:07 BST
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Moment Novak Djokovic lays down on tennis court after historic French Open win

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Novak Djokovic has made tennis history by winning a men’s record 23rd grand slam title after beating Casper Ruud in the French Open final at Roland Garros.

Djokovic defeated Ruud 7-6 6-3 7-5 to win his third French Open crown and move ahead of his great rival Rafael Nadal to take the outright lead in the men’s grand slam race for the first time. The victory moves the 36-year-old Serbian level with Serena Williams on 23 major titles, one short of Margaret Court’s overall record of 24.

Djokovic also becomes the oldest ever French Open champion at 36 and is now halfway to completing the calendar grand slam - a feat not achieved in men’s tennis since Rod Laver won all four majors in a single year in 1969. Djokovic will head to Wimbledon next month looking to equal Roger Federer’s men’s record of eight singles titles at the All England Club.

Follow live reaction from the French Open final below after Djokovic made history at Roland Garros.

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The scary truth behind Novak Djokovic’s historic French Open victory

Novak Djokovic has spent most of his life playing catch up to Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. Only now, at 36, has he finally reached the summit to stand alone at the top.

With his victory in the French Open final, the Serbian has claimed a men’s record 23rd grand slam title, moving ahead of his great rival Nadal on the most successful court of the Spaniard’s career. Djokovic defeated Casper Ruud 7-6 6-3 7-5 on the clay of Roland Garros to claim his third French Open crown, also becoming the first man to win each of the four grand slams at least three times. Djokovic is now level with Serena Williams with 23 grand slams, while Margaret Court’s overall record of 24 is the next target.

But with history on the line, Djokovic produced a performance that showed why he is likely to finish his career with a far higher total, and as the most successful player of all time. Against Ruud, Djokovic saved his best level for the biggest moments of the match and was faultless in the crucial first-set tiebreak. Ruud, the 24-year-old Norwegian, battled courageously but Djokovic served immaculately and offered up no opportunities in the second and third sets.

When Djokovic approached the finish line at the end of the third set, he found another gear, winning 12 of the last 13 points while hitting a series of unstoppable forehand shots. Djokovic won the third set with 22 winners to just seven unforced errors. Other players may have felt the pressure but Djokovic, as he so often does, thrived on it. This was another victory built on his supreme mental fortitude.

The scary truth behind Novak Djokovic’s historic French Open victory

Djokovic defeated Casper Ruud 7-6 6-3 7-5 to win a record-breaking grand slam title on the Paris clay, but he is not done with 23 - far from it

Jamie Braidwood11 June 2023 19:03
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French Open LIVE: Novak Djokovic vs Casper Ruud result

Novak Djokovic 7-6 6-3 7-5 Casper Ruud - Game, set and match!

Djokovic collapses onto the clay! He moves ahead of Rafael Nadal with a 23rd grand slam singles title, more than any other man in history.

What a sensational performance.

(REUTERS)
Jamie Braidwood11 June 2023 17:28
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French Open LIVE: Novak Djokovic vs Casper Ruud result

Novak Djokovic 7-6 6-3 7-5 Casper Ruud - Game, set and match!

A message from Carlos Alcaraz as well.

Jamie Braidwood11 June 2023 18:38
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French Open LIVE: Novak Djokovic vs Casper Ruud result

Novak Djokovic 7-6 6-3 7-5 Casper Ruud - Game, set and match!

Rafael Nadal’s message to Novak Djokovic: “Many congrats on this amazing achievement. 23 is a number that just a few years back was imposible to think about, and you made it! Enjoy it with your family and team!”

Jamie Braidwood11 June 2023 18:17
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French Open LIVE: Novak Djokovic vs Casper Ruud result

Novak Djokovic 7-6 6-3 7-5 Casper Ruud - Game, set and match!

Djokovic: “See you next year!”

He is not done with 23. Far from it.

(Getty Images)

Jamie Braidwood11 June 2023 17:59
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French Open LIVE: Novak Djokovic vs Casper Ruud result

Novak Djokovic 7-6 6-3 7-5 Casper Ruud - Game, set and match!

This is a classy speech from Djokovic. He thanks former French Open winner Yannick Noah for his inspiration, his family and coach for their patience, tournament director Amélie Mauresmo. Djokovic’s four children are also here to see his moment of history.

Djokovic finishes by thanking football stars - and there are a lot here. Tom Brady, Kylian Mbappe, Zlatan Ibrahmovic.

Jamie Braidwood11 June 2023 17:55
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French Open LIVE: Novak Djokovic vs Casper Ruud result

Novak Djokovic 7-6 6-3 7-5 Casper Ruud - Game, set and match!

Djokovic turns to Ruud: “Casper, you are one of the best people on the tour, one of the best personalities, people around the tour, players, coaches, everybody respects you, appreciates you, loves you, and with good reason.

“I’m sorry for the result today. It’s not the best way to finish for you. You’ve had an incredible couple of years here...you’ve been one of the most consistent players in the world...it speaks about your quality of tennis and your consistency.”

Djokovic jokes: “I would wish you to beat anyone, apart from me!”

Jamie Braidwood11 June 2023 17:52
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French Open LIVE: Novak Djokovic vs Casper Ruud result

Novak Djokovic 7-6 6-3 7-5 Casper Ruud - Game, set and match!

Djokovic: “It’s not a coincidence that I’ve won my 23rd Grand Slam here in Paris. This tournament’s always been the hardest for me to win, so I’m very emotional right now. It means a lot to me.”

Jamie Braidwood11 June 2023 17:49
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French Open LIVE: Novak Djokovic vs Casper Ruud result

Novak Djokovic 7-6 6-3 7-5 Casper Ruud - Game, set and match!

Here comes the new 23-time grand slam champion...

Djokovic lifts his third French Open trophy above his head! We now get the national anthem of Serbia.

Djokovic will get a special presentation to recognise his 23rd grand slam title.

Djokovic starts his speech in French.

“Thank you everyone for such a great atmosphere. I’m really delighted to be here to share this special moment with you.”

(REUTERS)
Jamie Braidwood11 June 2023 17:44
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French Open LIVE: Novak Djokovic vs Casper Ruud result

Novak Djokovic 7-6 6-3 7-5 Casper Ruud - Game, set and match!

Here comes to the trophy presentation.

Casper Ruud: “I think we should start with Novak. Another day, another record for you, another day where you rewrite history. It’s tough to explain how good you are and how good this is. Congrats.”

Classy words from the runner-up. Apart from the second set, I thought Ruud played as well as he could have done today. He has come a long way since last year’s final defeat to Rafael Nadal.

But there is still a long way to go to beat Djokovic at a grand slam.

(REUTERS)
(REUTERS)
Jamie Braidwood11 June 2023 17:41

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