'Gutted': Sad scenes in Stefanos Tsitsipas' French Open heartbreak

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Stefanos Tsitsipas couldn't hide his disappointment after seeing his grand slam title dream ripped away. Pic: Getty
Stefanos Tsitsipas couldn't hide his disappointment after seeing his grand slam title dream ripped away. Pic: Getty

Stefanos Tsitsipas cut a dejected and inconsolable figure after his quest to make tennis history was painfully ripped away by one of the greatest competitors the sport has ever seen.

Tsitsipas had built a big lead and appeared on his way to an upset victory at the French Open, only for Novak Djokovic to mount an improbable comeback to win his 19th major 6-7 (6-8) 2-6 6-3 6-2 6-4.

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The 22-year-old star was hoping to become the first grand slam singles champion from Greece and the fairytale looked like becoming a reality when he raced out to a two-sets-to-love lead against the World No.1.

In a remarkable reminder of his famous fighting qualities, however, Djokovic overcame a two-set deficit for the second time in the tournament and the sixth time in his career.

He took a bathroom break following the second set and dominated thereafter, never facing a break point in the final three sets.

The Serb's stunning turnaround saw Tsitsipas' first grand slam final dream buried as he sank into his changeover chair and buried his head in a towel.

Djokovic has that effect on opponents.

Tsitsipas looked absolutely shattered after the defeat and couldn't hide his disappointment following the match.

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"What I learned today is that no matter what, in order for the match to be finished, you have to win three sets and not two," Tsitsipas admitted.

"Two sets doesn't really mean anything."

Gutted fans flooded social media with similar sentiments to the Greek superstar, with many conceding he was beaten by one of the sport's greatest champions.

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Greek had no answer to Djokovic fightback

Tsitsipas admitted he struggled to find his rhythm after the bathroom break that saw Djokovic come back a "different" man.

"I don't know what happened there, but he came back like a different player suddenly," Tsitsipas said. "He played really well. He gave me no space."

The turnaround was surprising because at 22, Tsitsipas is 12 years younger than Djokovic, and the Greek appeared to be the fresher player in the first two sets.

Yet while Djokovic found his form and moved better as the match progressed, Tsitsipas' game slipped. His groundstrokes became less penetrating, and by the end he wore a weary expression.

Seen here, Novak Djokovic embraces Stefanos Tsitsipas after the French Open final.
Novak Djokovic's experience eventually told against Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final at Roland Garros. Pic: Getty

"I felt like my rhythm was off; I really don't know why," Tsitsipas said.

"It was very strange considering that I started off finding my rhythm, finding my shots, and my movement on the court was perfect. And suddenly I just felt cold and out of it. I felt like I kind of lost my game a little bit. I really wish I could understand why."

Tsitsipas was treated after the third set for a hip issue but dismissed it as a factor.

He was the youngest men's finalist at Roland Garros since Rafael Nadal won the title in 2008, and was trying to become the first Greek to win a grand slam title.

"Despite my loss today, I have faith in my game," Tsitsipas said. "I very much believe I can get to that point very soon. I was close today."

with AAP

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