'Last year Novak Djokovic was not ready, but...', says ATP legend
With six Major finals, you have an excellent chance to become a winner in one of the four most prestigious tennis events. When you reach six finals in a single Grand Slam, it pays off a tournament legend title and a spot on the exclusive roster in the Open Era.
Since 1968, only nine players have reached at least six finals in a single Major, with no one joining them for years or even decades. Jimmy Connors and Bjorn Borg did that first, followed by Ivan Lendl, Boris Becker, Pete Sampras, and Andre Agassi.
Those six players were at the top before the 'Big 3' appeared on the scene, with Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic joining the action to form an exclusive group. Federer became the first player with six finals in three different Majors, and Novak Djokovic surpassed that result last week at Roland Garros to be the only player with at least six title matches in all four Majors.
Already playing in the Australian Open final nine times, eight times at the US Open and six times at Wimbledon, Novak added another record to his already impressive tally, securing the 19th Major crown in Paris and moving closer to Federer and Nadal.
in the Race for the best of all time. Novak came to Paris after playing the final of the Rome Open and winning the title at home in Belgrade. The Serbian got off to a strong start at Roland Garros before facing young Italian Lorenzo Musetti in the fourth round.
The teenager played inspiring tennis to take the first two sets in the tiebreakers before Djokovic took over and lost 14 points in the remainder of the clash before Lorenzo retired in the deciding match. In the quarters, Novak stayed on the court for three and a half hours against Matteo Berrettini, losing a set but crossing the finish line to find himself in the semi-finals.
In the final clash and a repeat of last year's final, Novak defeated Rafael Nadal 3-6, 6-3, 7-6, 6-2 in four hours and 11 minutes, dominating the clay king and 13 times champion to meet in title clash for the sixth time.
Goran Ivanisevic pays tribute to Novak Djokovic
Goran Ivanisevic believes Novak Djokovic played "perfect" tennis and thoroughly outgunned Rafael Nadal after losing the first set of their Roland Garros semi-final clash.
"The match started almost identically to last year’s final, but this time it was like Novak reset himself when he was 0-5 down in the first set," Ivanisevic said. "He nearly clawed his way back into that set and I knew that we were going to see a very different match going forward.
What happened in the second, third and fourth set… I have never seen Rafa so powerless at Roland-Garros," he added. "I feel like Novak could have won the third set sooner, but overall, his tennis was perfect."
When reminded of his comments by Tennis Majors, Ivanisevic claimed he was merely trying to throw his weight behind Novak Djokovic. "I mean, I have a right to say what I want to say," the former Wimbledon champion said.
"I had my own reasons; I am part of Novak Djokovic's team and it is normal that I believe in my player. This year, he gave a tennis lesson to Nadal. I am not gloating; simply put, last year Novak was not ready, but this year he was mentally solid and prepared for the battle."