Djokovic wins record 23rd men’s Grand Slam with third French Open


Novak Djokovic has won his men’s-record 23rd Grand Slam title with a 7-6 (1), 6-3, 7-5 victory over Casper Ruud in the French Open final, strengthening his case to be crowned the greatest player of all time.

On Sunday, the 36-year-old Serbian broke a tie with rival Rafael Nadal for the most major singles trophies in the history of men’s tennis, which dates to the 1800s.

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Nadal, a 14-time champion at Roland Garros, missed this year’s tournament because he is injured.

This victory goes alongside the French Open titles earned by Djokovic in 2016 and 2021, making him the only man with at least three from each major event. Since collecting his very first Slam trophy at the 2008 Australian Open, he has accumulated totals of 10 there, seven at Wimbledon, and three at the US Open.

Djokovic is again halfway to a calendar-year Grand Slam – winning all four majors in one season – something no man has achieved since Rod Laver in 1969. Djokovic came close to pulling off that feat in 2021 when he won the Australian Open, French Open, and Wimbledon and made it all the way to the title match at the US Open before losing to Daniil Medvedev.

Only Margaret Court and Serena Williams in women’s tennis have managed to rack up 23 Grand Slam titles. Court’s all-time mark of 24 will now be in Djokovic’s sights at Wimbledon next month.

Infographic - Djokovic wins record 23rd tennis Gram Slam

There is little sign of Djokovic slowing down. He is now the oldest French Open champion but 11 of his Slam trophies have now been won after he turned 30.

On Monday, he will reclaim the world number ranking and start his 388th week in the top spot.

The sense of Sunday’s occasion certainly attracted sports A-listers.

NFL legend Tom Brady watched from the Djokovic box, football stars Kylian Mbappe and Zlatan Ibrahimovic sat side by side in the VIP area which also accommodated former world heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson, a regular this weekend.

Ruud congratulates Djokovic
Norway’s Casper Ruud, right, congratulates Djokovic on his win [Christian Hartmann/Reuters]

Djokovic was playing in his seventh French Open final and boasted a 4-0 career record over Ruud, not having lost a single set.

However, the fourth-ranked Norwegian was the more composed of the two at the start, sprinting out of the blocks for a 2-0 lead when Djokovic shanked an overhead.

Ruud, the 2022 runner-up to Nadal, stretched to 3-0 and 4-1 before Djokovic retrieved the break in the seventh game when his opponent buried an easy smash into the net with an open court begging. It came at the end of a lung-busting 28-shot rally.

Djokovic missed a breakpoint in the ninth game, tumbling to the red clay as he chased down a Ruud drive.

His frustration boiled over when he angrily accused umpire Damien Dumusois of rushing the players between changeovers on a heavy, humid afternoon in the French capital.

Fired up, he then raced through the tiebreak, sealing the opener with a running forehand.

Tellingly, that was Djokovic’s sixth tiebreak at this French Open, and in none of them had he committed a single unforced error in the 55 points contested.

Despite being Djokovic’s junior by 12 years, Ruud, who also lost the 2022 US Open final to Carlos Alcaraz, suddenly looked spent.

Djokovic broke for 2-0 in the second set and despite Ruud saving two set points in the eighth game, the Serb moved closer to his dream.

Ruud saved a break point in the third game of the third set before Djokovic was hit with a warning for taking too long between points.

But he wasn’t thrown out of his stride.

Djokovic broke for love at 6-5 and sealed his place in history when Ruud went wide.

Factbox on Novak Djokovic, who beat Casper Ruud 7-6(1) 6-3 7-5 in the French Open final on Sunday to win a record-breaking 23rd men's Grand Slam title.

Age: 36

Country: Serbia

ATP ranking: 3

Seeding: 3

Grand Slam titles: 23 (Australian Open 2008, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2023; French Open 2016, 2021, 2023; Wimbledon 2011, 2014, 2015, 2018, 2019, 2021, 2022; U.S. Open 2011, 2015, 2018)


First round: Aleksandar Kovacevic (U.S.) 6-3 6-2 7-6(1)

Second round: Marton Fucsovics (Hungary) 7-6(2) 6-0 6-3

Third round: 29-Alejandro Davidovich Fokina (Spain) 7-6(4) 7-6(5) 6-2

Fourth round: Juan Pablo Varillas (Peru) 6-3 6-2 6-2

Quarter-finals: 11-Karen Khachanov (Russia) 4-6 7-6(0) 6-2 6-4

Semi-finals: 1-Carlos Alcaraz 6-3 5-7 6-1 6-1


* Began playing tennis aged four.

* His father was a professional skier and wanted his son to follow in his footsteps or play professional soccer but changed his mind when Djokovic excelled at tennis from an early age.


* Made Grand Slam debut as a qualifier at the 2005 Australian Open. Finished as the youngest player (18 years, five months) inside the top 100.

* In 2006, he won his first ATP tour title at Amersfoort.

* Reached his first Grand Slam final at the U.S. Open in 2007, losing to Roger Federer.

* Won his maiden Grand Slam title at the 2008 Australian Open -- becoming the first Serbian man to win a singles major.

* Led Serbia to their first Davis Cup title in December 2010.

* Began 2011 by winning seven successive tournaments and did not lose until June, when Federer ended his 41-match winning streak in the French Open semi-finals.

* Secured the number one ranking in July 2011 by reaching the Wimbledon semi-finals, then beat Rafa Nadal to clinch his first Wimbledon crown, his first title on grass.

* Defeated Federer in the 2011 U.S. Open semis then beat Nadal in the final to become the seventh man to win three Grand Slam titles in a year since tennis turned professional in 1968.

* Won his third Australian Open title in 2012 by defeating Nadal in five hours and 53 minutes and began 2013 by beating Andy Murray to become the first man in the professional era to win three successive Australian Open titles.

* Beat Federer in a five-set Wimbledon final in 2014.

* Reached all four Grand Slam finals in 2015. Began the year by capturing a fifth Australian Open title.

* Won third Wimbledon title by defeating Federer in the final. Beat Federer in the U.S. Open final, earning three Grand Slam titles in a year for a second time.

* Beat Murray in the 2016 Australian Open final to win his 11th Grand Slam title.

* Beat Murray again in the French Open final that year to win the claycourt major on his 12th attempt. The win not only completed his Grand Slam collection but he also became only the third man -- after Don Budge and Rod Laver -- to hold all four majors at the same time.

* Retired in the 2017 Wimbledon quarter-finals and ended his season in July with a right elbow injury. Returned from a six-month injury absence at the 2018 Australian Open. Had elbow surgery following a last-16 exit.

* Beat Kevin Anderson in the 2018 Wimbledon final to seal his 13th Grand Slam. Capped off the year by winning the U.S. Open crown for the third time.

* Defeated Nadal to claim his 15th major and seventh Australian Open title in 2019.

* His 26-match winning streak in Grand Slams ended with a loss to Dominic Thiem in the French Open semis.

* Came from two match points down to defeat Federer in the final and claim his fifth Wimbledon title. It was the first time a Wimbledon singles title had been decided in the final set tiebreak that was introduced at 12-12.

* Failed to successfully defend his title at the U.S. Open after retiring due to injury in the fourth round.

* Helped Serbia win the inaugural ATP Cup in 2020 before triumphing at Melbourne Park for the eighth time.

* With 2019 champion Nadal and Federer opting to skip the 2020 U.S. Open, Djokovic was favourite to triumph but was defaulted in the fourth round after accidentally hitting a line judge in the throat with a ball. The disqualification ended his 26-0 winning run in 2020.

* Lost to Nadal in straight sets in the final of the rescheduled 2020 French Open.

* Beat Daniil Medvedev for a record-extending ninth Australian Open title in 2021.

* Beat Stefanos Tsitsipas for his second French Open title and 19th Grand Slam crown, thus becoming the first man since tennis turned professional in 1968 to win all four majors at least twice.

* Beat Matteo Berrettini in the Wimbledon final to win a 20th singles Grand Slam title.

* His bid for a calendar-year Grand Slam in 2021 fell short after he lost to Medvedev in the U.S. Open final.

* Missed the Australian Open in 2022 after being deported from the country for not being vaccinated against COVID-19.

* Beat Nick Kyrgios in the Wimbledon final to win his 21st Grand Slam title and fourth straight crown at the All England Club.

* Missed the U.S. Open in 2022 due to being unvaccinated against COVID-19.

* Beat Stefanos Tsitsipas in the 2023 Australian Open final for his 10th title in Melbourne, reclaiming the number one ranking and drawing level with Nadal's record of 22 Grand Slam titles.

* Was injured during the build-up to the French Open but peaked in Paris to win a record 23rd men's Grand Slam and return to the top of the world rankings.

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