French Open - 'Scary good Novak Djokovic looks unbeatable' - Mats Wilander backs Serb to win Wimbledon too
Stefanos Tsitsipas could not have done much more in his valiant bid to win his first Grand Slam title, but instead it was Novak Djokovic who staged a quite brilliant recovery from two sets down to claim his 19th. The world number one produced another comeback of the kind for which he has become famous to win, 6-7 2-6 6-3 6-2 6-4, and Mats Wilander believes he will be incredibly difficult to stop.
'Scary good Djokovic looks unbeatable' - Wilander backs Novak to win Wimbledon
Remarkably, Djokovic has become the first man to win all four Grand Slams twice since the fully professional Open era began in 1968, and Wilander cannot see much hope ahead for his rivals later this year.
"We are now heading into the season where we would have to put Novak as the favourite to win Wimbledon most probably, favourite at the US Open because of what he does on hard courts," Wilander told Eurosport.
So yes, it’s on [Djokovic winning his 20th Slam] and the way he looks, he looks young, he looks so fresh at the end, he looks scary good and motivated.
"I’m not sure what he tells himself in the mind when he is two sets to love down, is he able to completely forget what the score is and is it just about the fact that he spent two hours with his opponent and now knows exactly what he needs to do?
Watch the moment Djokovic wins second French Open title and 19th Slam
"He pulls off the right shots at the right time. He looks fresher and fresher as the match going on, he’s so clever, he’s strong and he’s so calm these days. He looks unbeatable in the third, fourth and fifth.
"It is a big hit [for Stefanos] because being up two sets to love, and he felt in that third set he just needed to hold serve, he was just a point or two away from winning this match. He most probably will win Grand Slams, but losing your first final after being two sets to love up doesn’t give him too much scar tissue because it’s going to be tough.
"But he’s up against the generation that’s unbeatable, like Novak said in Rome – “the new Generation, well that’s me!” For Stefanos, for Sascha [Zverev], and for the other guys, it’s tough to beat these guys in five sets – they know how to play them. Even Bjorn Borg, who won Grand Slam after Grand Slam in a row, is understanding that these guys are unbelievable, they are not human."
Highlights: Djokovic wins second Roland Garros title and 19th Slam against Tsitsipas
Mischa Zverev also told Eurosport: "He [Novak] is a legend, and he is on the way to winning all four in the same year. I don’t know if it’s going to happen but his achievement is incredible, especially the way he won today, two sets to love down and being outplayed by a much younger Stefanos Tsitsipas. To come back and outlast him, be stronger mentally and physically, it was incredible.
"I was looking at Novak when they were preparing the trophy ceremony and he looked like was getting ready for Wimbledon. He was so focused. I think in his mind already he was thinking about who he was going to play at Wimbledon, how am I going play, I need to get ready with my preparation and recovery – he is a machine.
"It’s nice to see Novak can be a real fighter on the court, but a gentleman off the court. He thinks things though – he never feels rushed on the court, he never feels rushed off the court, he’s just in a state of mind where he’s at peace with himself. I am speechless because his performance was incredible."
Djokovic is now just one Grand Slam title behind his great rivals, Roger Federer and Nadal, with his tally now at 19. Indeed, the 34-year-old will be the favourite to triumph at Wimbledon later this summer and equal the legendary duo's marks of 20.
There was a very scary moment midway through the opening set as Djokovic took a nasty tumble near to the net. His team and supporters would have had their hearts in their mouths as he fell trying to retrieve a drop shot from which zipped over at a tricky angle. But he duly recovered.
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"It was an electric atmosphere" an overjoyed Djokovic said in his on-court interview. "I want to thank my coach and my physio, everyone who has been with me on this journey.
"I have played almost nine hours over the last 48 hours against two great champions, it was really tough physically over the last three days, but I trusted in my capabilities and knew I could do it."
Prior to this tournament, the Belgrade star had only won the French Open once, back in 2016, which is both surprising given his overall tally of Grand Slam titles, but at the same time simply testament to Nadal's dominance in Paris.
But having usurped the 'King of Clay', for this year at least, on the Spaniard's favourite court, Djokovic has now moved to within just one major title of his great rivals with Wimbledon coming up very soon.
'It's a dream, I knew I could do it' - Djokovic reacts to Roland Garros triumph