May 15, 2022
Novak Djokovic has won his first title for six months and warned the world he is back to his best in good time for the French Open.
His 6-0, 7-6 (7-5) victory over Stefanos Tsitsipas was surprising in terms of the ease with which he overcame a respected opponent.
The first set was a masterclass in precision and the second set was a study in the recovery of that familiar champion’s composure.
Novak Djokovic will show just this kind of brilliant match management at Wimbledon 2022!
In the mean time Novak’s delight in Rome was obvious. He talked of the massive positive energy and support he received in the Italian capital.
Djokovic dedicated his trophy to his son Stefan, who was playing his first competitive tennis match during the Italian final, at the tender age of seven.
Novak said of his storming opener: ‘I pleasantly surprised myself. I did play a perfect set. Then I was a little bit tight in the second set. But somehow I managed to find the right shots at the right time.’
Djokovic came back from 2-5 down in the second. He then played the biggest points best in the vital breaker, despite a mini-comeback from the younger man.
Novak suggested: ‘In the tie-break I was an inch better and maybe a little bit calmer. This couldn’t be a better time, going into Roland Garros after winning the title here. It’s been a perfect week for me.’
This is the sixth time Djokovic has won Rome. Incredibly it is his 38th Masters 1000 triumph and his 87th title in all. He has more than a thousand wins on tour.
But the number 21 is the one that means most to the world’s finest all-round player. Everything is perfectly poised at the top of tennis this European summer.
Novak would dearly love to take his 21st Grand Slam at the French Open – and he clearly believes that is possible now.
Can he draw level with Rafael Nadal at the Slam where the Spaniard has been most successful? It is more than possible.
Then Wimbledon 2022 could even see Djokovic crowned the undisputed greatest of all time with one more Grand Slam!
Tsitsipas, meanwhile, can only dream of being as good as Novak, despite the presence of several relatives to support his latest title bid.
He said. ‘I’m happy I got family members to come from Greece for this one.
‘Novak, congratulations, you have been showing great discipline and great effort over the last couple of years.
‘I try my best every single day, I hope I can get to your level one day.’
It’s hard for anyone to go toe to toe with Djokovic and come out on top. Maybe Carlos Alcaraz is now the biggest threat to the Serb’s Roland Garros ambitions.
That could become quite a rivalry over the next two years. The seasoned tennis genius against the young pretender.
Novak Djokovic v Carlos Alcaraz at Wimbledon 2022. What a fascinating battle of generations that would be!
Wimbledon 2022 is only weeks away now. Make sure you are there for the biggest and most glamorous tournament of them all.
This is Centenary Year for Centre Court. You can still be part of history!