Novak Djokovic creates history as tennis world reacts to French Open victory

The record-breaking Serbian is being celebrated across the tennis world.

Seen here, 2023 French Open champion Novak Djokovic.
Novak Djokovic's French Open victory saw him claim a men's record 23rd major grand slam title. Pic: Getty

Novak Djokovic is the toast of the tennis world after becoming the most successful men's player in grand slam history after beating Casper Ruud in the French Open final to claim his 23rd major singles trophy. The Serb - whose victory will see him regain the World No.1 status - overcame a tricky opening set before prevailing 7-6 (1) 6-3 7-5 against Norway's fourth seed.

Djokovic's straight-sets win sees him pass great rival Rafa Nadal as the man with the most grand slam titles - his 23 putting the Serb alongside women's great Serena Williams. Only Australia's Margaret Court (24 major trophies) has more grand slam titles in the history of tennis, with Djokovic having the chance to match that at Wimbledon next month.

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Since claiming his first at the Australian Open in 2008, Djokovic has been pursuing Roger Federer and Nadal through the history books, with Nadal pulling ahead in recent years after the Serb's vaccination status saw him miss grand slam tournaments at the Australian Open and US Open. Having won three of the last four majors though, Djokovic stands alone at the pinnacle of men's tennis.

The 36-year-old also becomes the first man to win all four majors at least three times, in another extraordinary example of his greatness on all surfaces. Djokovic, who has played in the Paris final seven times, told a cheering crowd on court Philippe Chatrier that the French Open was always the hardest slam for him to win.

"A lot of emotions here on this court, also off the court," he said, after lifting the trophy aloft. "I am being fortunate in my life to win 23 grand slams. It is an incredible feeling."

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Djokovic's stunning achievement was celebrated across the tennis world, where many fans insisted he had ended the debate about the greatest player the sport has ever seen. In a sign of his class, Nadal was among those to pay tribute to Djokovic on what he described as an "impossible" feat.

Casper Ruud in awe of Novak Djokovic

Ruud had impressed in making it back to the final, where he won only six games against Nadal last year, and was looking for his first title in his third final having also lost to Carlos Alcaraz at the US Open. He had failed to win a set in four previous matches against Djokovic, though, and missed his chance here in an 81-minute opener before the Serbian pulled away for his 21st consecutive slam victory.

Ruud came out sharp but it was only a question of time before Djokovic made his move and it came at 5-5, a series of superlative groundstrokes earning him the break, and moments later his moment of history. After collecting his runners-up plate, Ruud congratulated Djokovic.

Pictured left to right, French Open champion Novak Djokovic and runner-up Casper Ruud.
French Open champion Novak Djokovic and Casper Ruud pose for a photo with their trophies. Pic: Getty

"Another day, another record for you and another day you write rewrite tennis history," said the fourth seed. "It's tough to explain how incredible it is and how good you are."

The Serbian returned the praise: "Casper, thank you for your nice words. You are one of the best persons on the tour. I really feel that in today's world it's important to note when someone has the right life values. You deserve great respect.

"I'm sorry for the result today. For sure it's not the best way to finish for you but you've had an incredible couple of years here. I wish you to win against anybody except me."

with AAP

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