Djokovic reigns in the absence of the king of Roland Garros

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Novak Djokovic (CNN)

Novak Djokovic wins his third Roland Garros title. The Serbian wins on the Paris courts in the absence of the king of the tournament, 14-time champion of the event, Rafael Nadal.

This year’s edition of Roland Garros was different from the previous 18 editions. The Parisian courts missed the undisputed king of the tournament, Rafael Nadal, who won the Paris Slam a record 14 times. The Spaniard withdrew from the event due to an injury and hip surgery. Nadal’s decision to withdraw from the tournament opened the door to victory for all those who have tried unsuccessfully to defeat the Spaniard over the past two decades. Among them was Novak Djokovic, who is racing with Nadal for the title of tennis player with the most Grand Slam titles.

Before the start of Roland Garros 2023, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic together bore the title of the most decorated tennis player in history in a grand slam. Each of them has won 22 Grand Slam trophies. Djokovic was prevented from breaking the record by Rafael Nadal, with whom the Serbian never managed to win at Roland Garros. The obstacle for Nadal was his own body. The Spaniard has been struggling with a hip injury since January, which eventually forced him to withdraw from the tournament and undergo surgery. This opened the door wide for Novak Djokovic to a possible triumph at Roland Garros, because experts saw only one player as a possible threat to the Serb.

Many tennis experts believed that Carlos Alcaraz would win this year’s edition of Roland Garros. At the event he was number 1 in the ranking and presented great form. However, the Spaniard, to the surprise of the whole world, lost to the Serb, and above all to his own body. During the semi-final duel with Djokovic, Alcaraz suffered body cramps that prevented him from moving on the court, and consequently led to the loss of the match.

In the final of Roland Garros, Novak Djokovic faced Casper Rudd. Rudd is a Norwegian tennis player who advanced to the final of Roland Garros for the first time in 2022. He then lost to Rafael Nadal in three sets. It was the same now, though this time Rudd surprised with his tennis. In the first set, he even led 4:1 in games, and in the decisive part of the match, he gave up only after 5 games. Novak Djokovic won the match in three sets with a score of 7-6, 6-3, 7-5. This is Novak Djokovic’s third Roland Garros title and the 23rd Grand Slam win of his career overall.

By winning Roland Garros 2023, Novak Djokovic became the first tennis player in history to win a grand slam 23 times. The Serbian overtook Rafael Nadal in this classification by one title. Given Djokovic’s current form and Nadal’s absence, we suspect Djokovic could win at least one more slam this year. This season, the tennis players will compete in the Wimbledon and US Open Grand Slams.

READ: Rafael Nadal has undergone surgery. When will he be back on the court?

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