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Sport French Open talking points: A Grand Slam like no other

13:27  14 june  2021
13:27  14 june  2021 Source:   skysports.com

Federer comes through late-night slugfest in Paris

  Federer comes through late-night slugfest in Paris Roger Federer reached the last 16 of a Grand Slam for a record-extending 68th time after defeating Germany's Dominik Koepfer in a late-night slugfest at the French Open. The 2009 champion was solid in his opening two matches, with victories over qualifier Denis Istomin and former US Open champion Marin Cilic, having spent over a year out of action as he recovered from two knee surgeries.

In this year’s French Open , such bad decision by the officials led to 2 top women players losing in early rounds as they found it more difficult to cope with the conditions than their opponents. Clay is a slow surface which forces players to be patient and play long rallies from the baseline to win the point . There are A LOT of clay-court tournaments during the professional season with a good amount of warm-ups before the French . There are very few grass court tournaments and grass is rarely played on outside of Wimbledon in this era. The footing on grass isn’t like any other surface and it requires a

The 2020 French Open was a Grand Slam tennis tournament played on outdoor clay courts. It was held at the Stade Roland Garros in Paris, France. Originally scheduled for 24 May to 7 June, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was first moved to 20 September to 4 October

Novak Djokovic rewrote the history books once again by fighting back from two sets to love down to defeat Stefanos Tsitsipas and win a 19th Grand Slam title

a man holding a glass of wine: Novak Djokovic is closing in fast on Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal's magical Grand Slam mark © Associated Press Novak Djokovic is closing in fast on Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal's magical Grand Slam mark a baseball player holding a racket: Barbora Krejcikova, playing in just her fifth Grand Slam singles main draw, will climb to 15th in the rankings after becoming the third unseeded women's singles champion in Paris © Associated Press Barbora Krejcikova, playing in just her fifth Grand Slam singles main draw, will climb to 15th in the rankings after becoming the third unseeded women's singles champion in Paris

at the French Open. Can he be stopped from claiming an unprecedented Golden Slam in 2021?

Having dethroned 13-time champion Rafael Nadal in an epic semi-final, Djokovic displayed remarkable resolve to defeat Stefanos Tsitsipas in five sets - prevailing from two sets down in a Grand Slam final for the first time in his career.

2021 French Open: The story so far

  2021 French Open: The story so far We are halfway through the 2021 French Open and there is plenty to talk about as Rafael Nadal moves closer towards achieving tennis immortality at Roland Garros. Entering the year’s second major, where the Spaniard has proven tough to beat since his first appearance in 2005, all the talk centred around whether he could not only land a record-extending 14th French Open title, but also a record-breaking 21st grand slam men’s singles title.

In a high-quality, volatile opening set, Djokovic saved a set point , then badly failed to serve out the set at 6-5. The defining characteristic early on was Tsitsipas’s resilience. From 6-5 up in the tie‑break, Djokovic slammed down two tremendous clutch returns. Tsitsipas struck a beautifully timed It was reasonable to expect an immediate response, but it did not come. A languid Djokovic opened the second set with three unforced errors to fall a break down. As the errors continued, Tsitsipas carried on crushing his heavy, destructive forehand, finishing the set with nine winners to just two unforced errors.

He won his only previous French Open in 2016. The Serbian is one major away from Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer's all-time Grand Slam record. They are tied at 20. He's also on pace for a calendar Grand Slam , having won the Australian Open in February. Wimbledon begins later in the month. Djokovic looked bothered early in the final set by the sun, which was shining on half the court. The other half was shaded dark because of the roof. Tsitsipas delivered 14 aces to Djokovic's five and prevailed in winners, 61-56, but the veteran found his best shots at the most crucial times.

The world No 1 became the first male player in the open era to have won each Grand Slam at least twice, and his second French Open success takes him to within one solitary major title of Nadal and Roger Federer.

And he'll get further opportunities to create history in the coming months with Wimbledon and the US Open to come. The 34-year-old is not only chasing a Calendar Grand Slam but a Golden Slam with the Tokyo Olympics also on his radar this summer.

"Everything is possible," said Djokovic. "Definitely in my case, I can say that what I've been through in my career, in my life, this journey has been terrific so far. I've achieved some things that a lot of people thought it would be not possible for me to achieve."

Women's strength in depth shines through

Roland Garros provided the latest insight into the depth of talent the women's game continues to boast as unseeded Barbora Krejcikova stormed to an unlikely maiden Grand Slam singles title having progressed beyond qualifying at a major on just four occasions in the past.

Djoker survives huge scare at Roland Garros

  Djoker survives huge scare at Roland Garros For two sets and more than two hours, Novak Djokovic found himself being outplayed by a 19-year-old.And yet, to hear Djokovic tell it afterward, he had the kid right where he wanted him.

French Open : Djokovic beats Tsitsipas to win 19th Grand Slam . Novak Djokovic comes from behind to beat Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-7 (6-8) 2-6 6-3 6-2 6-4 to win French Open . Serbian top seed Djokovic claims 19th Grand Slam title. Greek fifth seed Tsitsipas was appearing in maiden major final.

But now Novak Djokovic's French Open triumph puts him in prime position to complete a calendar year Grand Slam in 2021. Before looking at the fallout from Djokovic's victory in Paris, though, it's best to look back at what was at stake. A turning point ? The red clay of Roland Garros has been Rafael Nadal's playground for most of the last 15 years, hence the fact that one could count the Spanish superstar's French Open losses on one hand with plenty of fingers left over.

In doing so Krejcikova also extended the French Open's streak of six consecutive first-time women's champions.

It should be reminded that world No 1 Ashleigh Barty and No 3 Simona Halep were both injured and Naomi Osaka withdrew from the tournament, but those remaining could only face the players in front of them. And that they did, taking full advantage of a wide-open competition.

Anybody can beat anybody on the women's tour, and that can only be a good thing.

Unseeded Czech Krejcikova wins French OpenAs it happened between Krejcikova and PavlyuchenkovaRafa & Novak treat us to a late-night classic

Oh how we'll miss the 'Big Three' when they're gone. While the long-awaited Euro 2020 championships kicked off in Italy, Djokovic and Nadal lured eyes to an exhibition of clay artistry as the world No 1 spectacularly halted the latter on his path towards a 14th Roland Garros singles title in one of the most encapsulating semi-finals in the sport's history.

Alcott eyeing a 'golden slam' of titles

  Alcott eyeing a 'golden slam' of titles Australian wheelchair tennis maestro Dylan Alcott will pursue a 'golden slam' of titles, featuring the four tennis majors and a Paralympic triumph.The 30-year-old from Melbourne added the French crown to his Australian Open title and will go for both the Wimbledon and US Open crowns, while also homing in on Paralympic gold.

The Grand Slams added that following Osaka's announcement on Wednesday, Roland Garros teams asked the 23-year-old to reconsider her position and were unsuccessful in their attempts to check on her wellbeing. After a "lack of engagement" from Osaka, the Grand Slam organisers wrote to her to On Wednesday, Osaka released a statement saying she would not face the media during the course of the French Open , citing the impact of news conferences on the mental health of players. She said expecting players to answer questions after a defeat amounted to "kicking a person while they're down".

The French Open women's singles final between relatively unknown first-timers Barbora Krejcikova of the Czech Republic and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia proved to be a battle of wills. After two opposite sets — one dominated by Krejcikova and the other dominated by Pavlyuchenkova — and an unexpected injury, Krejcikova held on to win her first-ever Grand Slam Krejcikova told the crowd she felt that Novotna had been watching over her during the tournament, and that she was taking the advice Novotna had given her with some of her last words: enjoy your career, and try to win a Grand Slam .

Heading into the contest Djokovic had described a clay matchup with perennial French Open champion Nadal as the 'biggest challenge'; having battled to a 3-6 6-3 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 win he labelled it as an occasion he will never forget.

Nadal had been 26-0 upon reaching the semi-finals at the tournament, which he entered with a 105-2 record since his bow in 2005. It was a task that drew every ounce of Djokovic's technical brilliance to slay the Parisian beast.

Djokovic dethrones Nadal in classic to reach French Open finalThe two tenors of tennis play out their own operatic classic11pm curfews

Video: Djokovic makes history with 19th Grand Slam title in epic French Open final (France 24)

It was quite the sign of the times when fans erupted into cheers as they were informed they could break the 11pm curfew to watch the entirety of Djokovic and Nadal's blockbuster semi-final.

There had been a 9pm curfew in place for the first 10 days of the tournament, before that was shifted to 11pm as the 1,000 capacity allowance was increased to 5,000.

2021 French Open: Women's final preview

  2021 French Open: Women's final preview And then there were two.

Djokovic's quarter-final matchup with Italy's Matteo Berrettini was notably disrupted for 20 minutes as some of those in attendance protested after being asked to leave during the fourth set, one fan shouting 'Rip-off' while exiting.

It made for an eerie silence upon the pair's return to court and yet another reminder of what tennis misses out on without full stands. To think some could well have missed the conclusion of Djokovic and Nadal's epic.

39 years later...

A special mention to Joe Salisbury, who ended Britain's 39-year wait for a main draw title at Roland Garros by winning the mixed doubles with American Desirae Krawczyk.

Salisbury's second Grand Slam title saw him match the feat of John Lloyd, who won the mixed doubles at the French Open with Australian Wendy Turnbull back in 1982.

It continues Salisbury's ascent after he triumphed in the 2020 Australian Open men's doubles alongside Rajeev Ram before reaching the final the following year having also made it to the semi-finals of the US Open in between.

Osaka's withdrawal exposes flaws

Naomi Osaka was met by a wave of support from fellow athletes and fans as she made the decision to pull out of the tournament having been threatened with expulsion in light of her announcement that she would not partake in press conferences due to the effects of reporters questions on her mental health.

2021 French Open: Men's final preview

  2021 French Open: Men's final preview And then there were two.

The four-time Grand Slam champion said she had been prepared for the fine that athletes face for boycotting media duties; instead her treatment depicted a concerning lack of empathy from organisers who later accepted that the sport's governing bodies need to do better on mental health issues.

Upon withdrawing Osaka revealed that she suffers from depression and is overcome by anxiety ahead of meetings with the press. Her bravery in admitting a sensitive issue comes as yet another powerful message for young men, women, boys and girls feeling a similar way to talk.

Stay updated with the latest scores I resultsUpdated ATP & WTA rankingsNo sign of home success, yet...

Henri Leconte is the last French man to have reached a French Open final when he was beaten by Sweden's Mats Wilander in 1988, with Yannick Noah the last French man to win a men's singles title at Roland Garros when he overcame Wilander in 1983.

Mary Pierce is meanwhile the last French women to have both reached a Paris final (2005) and clinched a singles title on home soil (2000), the latter coming courtesy of a straight-sets win over Spain's Conchita Martínez. It begs the question as to who looms as France's next hope?

That being said, there could be hope on the horizon after Luca Van Assche beat Arthur Fils to win the boys single title in what was the first Grand Slam junior tournament to feature all-French semi-finalists.

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Gutsy Djokovic comes from two sets down to win French Open

  Gutsy Djokovic comes from two sets down to win French Open Djokovic blew the chance to serve out the first set and was outclassed in the second before demonstrating his never-say-die attitude to defeat first-time Grand Slam finalist Tsitsipas.Another indefatigable comeback saw him win the French Open final, putting Djokovic on 19 Grand Slam titles versus the 20 of his two great rivals.

'Scary good' Djokovic eyes historic achievement .
Novak Djokovic's win at Roland Garros has him on track for something never before done by a male player.Only Steffi Graf in 1988 has achieved the feat of winning all four grand slam tournaments, plus the Olympic gold medal in the same calendar year.

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