With Iga Swiatek claiming her third Roland Garros title on Saturday, Novak Djokovic wanted to do the same thing on Sunday. However, for the Serb, the third title on the Parisian clay would mean rewriting the history books in many different ways.
He would become the first-ever player on the ATP Tour to win 23 Grand Slam titles, and he would also be the first player to win every Grand Slam tournament at least three times. Supported by Tom Brady from his box and watched by many stars in attendance, the 36-year-old wanted to succeed in his record-tying 34th Grand Slam final.
But there was one man that wanted to stop him, and many of his fans with the same wish. Casper Ruud contested already his third major final, but he lost in both that he played before, with one of them being last year at the Roland Garros against Rafael Nadal.
This time, the Norwegian wanted to use the experience from the previous two finals, as well as the fact that Djokovic is also only human and, he can too make mistakes under pressure of becoming the first man to win 23 majors.
The first set of the match was a real battle, and if Alcaraz said after losing to the Serb that if someone says he's not nervous against Djokovic he lies, Ruud showed none of the nervousness early in the first set.
In fact, the Norwegian was the better player early on, leading 4-1 in the opening set and playing really well. But again 22-time Grand Slam champion, that may not be enough.
The fourth seed experienced that, and despite Djokovic clashing with the umpire Damien Dumusois after playing the first set for an hour and twenty minutes, he was able to win it 7-1 in the tie-break, once again not making any mistake.
At the 2023 Roland Garros, the Serb won all of the tie-breaks he played, rewriting history books once again, and in all of the tie-breaks that he played, he made no unforced errors, something that even Ruud couldn't change.
With the momentum from the first set on his side, the two-time Roland Garros champion was determined to use that in the second set, breaking already in the first service game of his opponent.
Djokovic was then able to keep that advantage throughout the set, and despite not using any of his two chances to add another break in the eighth game, it was enough to win the second set 6-3, coming only one set away from rewriting the history books once more.
Ahead of the final, the Serb avoided a question about his injury, but that didn't seem to be a problem in the final. Already in the third game of the third set, he had a chance to break again, but this time, Ruud saved the break point and kept on fighting.
The fourth seed from Norway played really well in the third set, but that was only until the tenth game. Djokovic once again showed why he's considered to be the greatest player of all time by many, winning 11 consecutive points.
Thanks to that, he was able to win the match 7-6(1), 6-3, 7-5 to win the 2023 Roland Garros and become the first man in the history of tennis to win 23 Grand Slam titles, and tying Serena Williams at 23 majors. Now, he misses only one to tie the all-time record of Margaret Court, who won 24 Grand Slams in her career.