Stefanos Tsitsipas was a set away from winning his maiden Grand Slam title at Roland Garros on Sunday. But the Greek faltered as an inspired Novak Djokovic overturned a two-set deficit to win 6-7(6), 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 and lift his 19th Major title.
With the win, Djokovic became the first man in the Open Era to lift each Grand Slam trophy twice. He is also just a single Slam behind Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, who are tied on 20 Majors each.
Speaking during the trophy presentation ceremony, Stefanos Tsitsipas paid tribute to the World No. 1, lauding the Serb for his astonishing levels of consistency.
“Big fight, big fight out there, I tried my best,” a dejected Tsitsipas said. “First time playing here in the finals. I would say I had a good run and I am happy with myself but let’s give it up for Novak because he has shown us in the last couple of years what a great champion he is, how consistent he has been.”
Stefanos Tsitsipas said he took inspiration from watching the Serb dominate the sport and that he hoped to achieve “half” of what Djokovic has over the course of his career.
“I would say I am inspired by the things he has achieved so far,” Stefanos Tsitsipas continued. “I hope one day maybe I can achieve half of what he has done so far.
“I am sure it’s not just Novak, his team has been helping him get there. For the last couple of years it’s a team effort despite us being out there as individuals playing for ourselves. There is a big group of people responsible for us to be out there so…”
“I would like to thank the Greek fans” – Stefanos Tsitsipas
Stefanos Tsitsipas enjoyed a healthy amount of support from the Greek spectators on Court Philippe-Chatrier. They vociferously chanted his name throughout the match and tried to spur him on to victory.
Tsitsipas thanked his fans, as well as his team, for supporting him throughout.
“Great week here at the French Open, I would like to thank the Greek fans that came,” Stefanos Tsitsipas said. “My team who has been constantly bucking me up and helping me achieve my dreams. It’s a difficult journey, it takes a lot of amount of work every single day. So thank you Roland Garros for making these two weeks so incredible for me. I hope to be back next year and put out a good show again.”