BELGRADE – Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic completed the rare career tennis Grand Slam by defeating Britain’s Andy Murray Sunday at the French Open.
Djokovic, the world’s top ranked player, rallied from a first set loss to beat the second seeded Murray in four sets at Rolland Garros in Paris, 3-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-4.
With the victory, Djokovic becomes only the third man to hold all four major tennis titles at one time. The last one was Australian Rod Laver, who did it in the same calendar year in both 1962 and 1969. The other was American Don Budge, who won all four titles in 1938. Djokovic won last year’s Wimbledon and U.S. Open and this year’s Australian Open before winning the French title.
“It’s a very special moment, the biggest of my career,” said Djokovic. “I felt something that I never felt before at Rolland Garros. I felt the love of the crowd.”
This was the first time Murray had reached the French Open final and he has now lost five Grand Slam championship matches to Djokovic and eight of the 10 he has played in.
“To Novak, this is his day,” said Murray. “What he’s achieved the last 12 months is phenomenal. Winning all the Grand Slams in one year is an amazing achievement.”
The French Open was the one Grand Slam tournament the Serb star had not won. He had lost in three previous trips to the final.
Watching from the stands was three time French Open champion (1997, 2000, 2001) Gustavo Kuerton. Djokovic said he had permission from the former Brazilian star to copy his famous drawing of a heart on the clay court. After the victory, Djokovic used the end of his racket to etch a big heart in the clay and told the crowd, “My heart will always be with you on this court.”
The 29-year-old Serb now has won 12 major titles in his career. Roger Federer, currently ranked third, holds the all-time record with 17. The 34-year-old Swiss star had to miss this year’s French Open because of a back injury. He had played in a record 65 straight Grand Slam singles tournaments.